Will Thomas Tuchel's Bundesliga dream with Borussia Dortmund stay alive on Saturday night? Or will it be over before it starts? DW's Bundesliga experts share their thoughts on how the game will unfold.
Jonathan Harding: No time like the present
Given the quality on offer, there's every right to be excited about the fixture. It's the Bundesliga's go-to game, there's more pace and trickery than in most YouTube compilations and two of the top three scorers in the league tangle once more. Dortmund are still a team in development though, and constant comparisons to Bayern do them no good. This game isn't even the biggest rivalry of the weekend, and Bayern's game against Leipzig is already the most anticipated of the season.
This weekend though, is an excellent opportunity for Dortmund to finally beat the record champions. Philipp Lahm is showing more and more signs of ageing and the genuine winger/Thomas Müller conundrum continues to disrupt Bayern's flow. Under Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern have lacked bite and tempo in the Bundesliga. Cologne, Frankfurt and Hoffenheim all slowed Bayern, but it is up to Dortmund to stop them.
Thomas Tuchel's men must use the experience to improve their handling of pressure. If they score early, they should go for a second to give Bayern a taste of their own medicine.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 Bayern
Matthew Pearson: Even a stumbling Bayern strong enough
It's tough to look past the visitors for this one - and that's more to do with Dortmund's weaknesses than Bayern's strengths. While confidence should be high at Signal Iduna Park after their 5-2 win last time out, even the hammering of Hamburg exposed a few of the flaws that have hindered BVB this term.
After racing into a lead in that game, they wobbled slightly in the second half, allowing a woeful Hamburg side to grab two goals and create a number of chances. It may not have mattered on the day but taking their foot off the gas points to a level of immaturity and a lack of ruthlessness that - while perhaps was to be expected after the influx of young talent last summer - is not in the makeup of the very top sides. Marc Bartra is a good player but Dortmund miss Mats Hummels badly - they've kept just two clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season.
If there's a side that can expose that lack of focus and defensive frailty, it's Hummels' new club. Bayern Munich are widely accepted to have underperformed a little under Carlo Ancelotti but they remain unbeaten domestically. The players seem to have had a little difficulty adapting to the Italian's methods but this is a team full of winners and full of experience. They'll end Saturday nine points clear of their opponents.
Prediction: Dortmund 1-3 Bayern
Stefan Bienkowski: Shared success
With Bayern Munich's current form in the Bundesliga offering little hope to traveling fans at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday evening, this clash between Germany's two biggest sides will surely be as good a chance as Thomas Tuchel will get to earn his first win over the German champions as coach of BVB.
Although Dortmund haven't been playing at their best this season, they have offered a handful of performances that suggest that they can make things exceptionally uncomfortable for a slow and poorly-drilled Bayern team. Should they get in Bayern's face like Hoffenheim, Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt already have this season, then they really should have the advantage.
Yet this is Bayern and with that comes a certain degree of luck. Ancelotti may not be overly confident in his squad at the moment - especially with the sheer amount of injuries - but he knows that Dortmund are inexperienced in dealing with the pressure of getting the better of German title challengers. He'll also know that Dortmund's best performances this season have actually come away from home, rather than in front of the Yellow Wall. I can see both teams enjoying some success on Saturday.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-2 Bayern
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