Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich in a unique but vital der Klassiker if they’re to get back into the title race on Tuesday afternoon.
Lucien Favre’s side head into the clash at an empty Signal Iduna Park four points behind the leaders and with only six games to go after this one.
Bayern Munich will have every reason to feel confident of avoiding defeat if not taking all three points from this one after their convincing 5-2 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. The Bavarians also hammered their rivals 4-0 at the Allianz Arena back in November.
Borussia Dortmund are sweating over the fitness of centre-back Mats Hummels after the former Bayern Munich man was replaced at half-time over the weekend. Emre Can slotted into a back three alongside Manuel Akanji and Lukasz Piszczek during their 2-0 win away to VfL Wolfsburg.
The Schwarzgelben will also be hoping Jadon Sancho is fit to start this one after coming off the bench as a substitute in each of their two games since the restart.
Favre is already without defenders Dan-Axel Zagadou and Nico Schulz, as well as influential attacker Marco Reus.
Bayern Munich have already lost Thiago Alcantara through injury this month with fellow midfielders Corentin Tolisso and Philippe Coutinho already out. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Muller have been playing the central midfield roles for Hansi Flick’s side.
The visitors also continue to be without Niklas Sule as they have done for the majority of the season, but the centre-back is back in training. Flick has continued to go with David Alaba alongside Jerome Boateng in the middle of his back four, despite both Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez being available again.
Serge Gnabry has been introduced from the bench in both of Bayern’s games this month as he looks to build his fitness levels up. The attacker could return to the starting lineup in place of Ivan Perisic on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund (3-4-2-1): Roman Burki; Manuel Akanji, Mats Hummels, Lukasz Pizczek; Achraf Hakimi, Mahmoud Dahoud, Thomas Delaney, Raphael Guerreiro; Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard; Erling Haaland
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Benjamin Pavard, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kingsley Coman; Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry; Robert Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund restarted with a cruising 4-0 victory in the Revierderby against Schalke 04 before a workmanlike 2-0 win away to VfL Wolfsburg over the weekend. They have now conceded just one goal in their last six outings as Lucien Favre has seemingly sorted out the defensive issues that were a real problem at the start of the season.
This defence is really going to be tested by Robert Lewandowski and co on Tuesday and they will be praying Mats Hummels is fit to play. In attack, Julian Brandt not Erling Haaland have hit the heights so far and Dortmund will really need either or both of these to step up if their side are to collect the must needed three points.
Serge Gnabry would be a huge inclusion in the starting lineup if he’s fit to start. The German international had formed an excellent partnership with Alphonso Davies down the left before the two month lay-off.
They did concede two goals from corners over the weekend but otherwise they were always in control of the game and allowed next to nothing on their goal in open play. This should be different midweek when they face the second-highest scorers in the division.
Both teams have only had two games since the restart and this one comes just three days after their latest one so fitness levels could play a huge and unpredictable part. Dortmund won’t have their intimidating fans behind them either. All in all I think this points to a Bayern Munich win in an entertaining affair. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich