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Match Preview: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund set to clash in a high-stakes “Der Klassiker”

All eyes will be on the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich welcome Borussia Dortmund for the 135th edition of “Der Klassiker” (BAY: 67v, 35n, 32d) in a prime-time Bundesliga showdown.

The luster has somewhat faded as neither side appears capable of winning the Bundesliga, with Bayern’s 11-year reign of dominance seemingly coming to an end as they sit 10 points behind Bayer Leverkusen.

This hasn’t deterred Bayern from trying to chase down the league leaders, with a combined 13 goals in their two league wins before the international break, making them the most prolific team in the league (78 goals). Thomas Tuchel’s men are equally ruthless in this fixture, with their 4-0 thrashing in the reverse fixture extending their run to nine consecutive “Der Klassikers” in which they have scored multiple goals (29).

Currently ten points adrift of their rivals, Borussia Dortmund can at least approach this match with confidence after a run of four straight wins before the break kept them in the top four and alive in Europe. The gap to fifth-placed Leipzig, however, is just one point heading into this round, so a positive result is needed as the “Red Bulls” will have played a much easier game on paper earlier in the day.

Playing away from home is generally not a problem for Dortmund, who have lost just once in their last 16 Bundesliga away trips (7w, 8d). That run began after a 4-2 defeat here in Bavaria almost a year to the day, which is one of their 11 consecutive winless matches against Bayern (1d, 10l) – one more would set a new record for most consecutive matches without a win in this fixture. Despite their poor form in this fixture, Edin Terzić’s men have scored five goals in their last three outings at this venue.

Key players to watch: Harry Kane bagged a hat-trick on his “Der Klassiker” debut in November. It was the third in his incredible run of four Bundesliga hat-tricks this season. Niclas Füllkrug is Dortmund’s top scorer with 11 Bundesliga goals this season, and each of his last three club goals have come in the first or last ten minutes of the game.

Hot stat: Each of the last nine “Der Klassikers” has produced over 3.5 total goals, and eight of them have seen both teams score.

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