Whether Dortmund will manage to make the race for the title interesting hinges upon their home clash with Bayern. DW's Bundesliga experts share their verdicts on how Saturday's eagerly anticipated clash will pan out.
Jonathan Harding: Write Bayern off at your peril
The Bundesliga title race talk will reach its peak on Saturday, especially after Bayern's defeat to Mainz. The game is less a title decider and more an exciting match up between by far and away the best two teams in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund's season has been nothing short of remarkable, even more so if you consider the fact that Thomas Tuchel is in his first year in charge and the length of their fixture list. Tuchel has proved how valuable a year away can be, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has broken all of his own scoring records, becoming the player Dortmund desperately needed him to be in the process.
With the circus that Pep Guardiola has created, and off the back of a defeat, it's tempting to say that Bayern will struggle on Saturday against the only other Bundesliga team offering the same sort of pace in their attack. Add to that a defense lacking Jerome Boateng and the fact Dortmund will be playing at home, there are perhaps fewer reasons than ever to believe it will be Bayern's day. Nevertheless, it's Bayern Munich. With Robert Lewandowski and co. are capable of causing just as much destruction against the home side's defense (and keeper), I fancy Bayern to bounce back and end the title race discussion once and for all.
Prediction: Dortmund 1-2 Bayern
Stefan Bienkowski: Dortmund have the class to beat Bayern
Although Bayern Munich are the clear favorites for Saturday's tie, momentum and form are key factors that Borussia Dortmund can rely upon. While Pep Guardiola's side have stumbled against Mainz and Juventus, Dortmund have beaten Bayer Leverkusen, Porto and a galvanised Hoffenheim.
Guardiola will also be worried that his team have been undone of late by well-trained, counter-attacking sides that can sit back and then break with pace and accuracy. Juventus did it well and Mainz did it even better but Dortmund may well be the most formidable, counter-attacking team Bayern have come up against so far this season.
Although the Bavarian giants have the firepower to quickly put this possible battle for the title to bed, a defense without Jerome Boateng doesn't look equipped to keep Dortmund's attack at bay. Bayern's defense doesn't look anywhere near its best, even with David Alaba and Medhi Benatia in the side. This game could go either way, but based on the manner in which both sides are currently playing, I can't look past Dortmund.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-2 Bayern
Alex Chaffer: Dortmund will rip the title race wide open
While being branded as "Der Klassiker" and the game to watch this weekend, especially with the midweek results that have come, this game could decide the title. Marco Reus, Lukasz Piszczek and Roman Bürki were all rested in Dortmund's comfortable win over Darmstadt, while Bayern were outsmarted by Mainz.
With the game in Dortmund, I think the home fans will give the yellow-and-blacks the advantage and an added incentive to win that could be the difference in this game. For Bayern, it was a pleasant sight to see Medhi Benatia and Franck Ribery start before this huge clash, but neither particularly impressed against Mainz.
The importance of this game brings with it added pressure, adrenaline and an added will to win. For me, it's Dortmund who will take the three points in what I expect to be an open, dynamic and fast match at the Signal Iduna Park. Bayern's nervous defense just won't be able to stop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his partners in crime from opening up the title race.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 Bayern
Ross Dunbar: It's now-or-never for Dortmund - but defeat doesn't mean failure
Just like at a crucial point of a drawn-out card game over several hours, Dortmund can stick or twist on Saturday when the opportunity is there to cut the gap to two points. If they manage to do so, we can start to talk and tweet about a title race, yet Thomas Tuchel's side would also need Bayern to crumble in their last nine games.
But Bayern and Pep Guardiola appear to be stuck in something of a no man's land when it comes to performances. The team is wholly reliant on individual magic from Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller or Arjen Robben. Have the wheels come off since Pep announced his exit? Whatever it is, it's dangerous, and Bayern won't want to give the yellow-and-blacks a sniff of the title.
Dortmund have smashed all of their pre-season expectations and are progressing towards becoming one of Europe's top teams. Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, backed by Ilkay Gündogan in midfield, will be Guardiola's biggest test of the season. It's important, though, that in the final reckoning, Dortmund and Tuchel are credited with such an outstanding season rather than being criticized for finishing behind Bayern Munich.
However, I can see Dortmund carrying their momentum into this game. Bayern have been shaky for some time, and while a big performance isn't beyond the realms of possibility, Dortmund could do some real damage on Saturday night. For the neutral, let's hope Dortmund come out on top.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-1 Bayern