After their stunning Champions League fight back against Inter Milan, buoyant Borussia Dortmund now have Bayern Munich in their sights for Saturday’s crunch Bundesliga clash.
Dortmund came from two goals down at half-time against Antonio Conte’s Inter on Tuesday as Achraf Hakimi netted twice to seal the hosts’ superb 3-2 win which keeps them on course for the last 16 of the Champions League.
“The second half was outstanding. That gives us a tailwind for Saturday. We are ready for the ‘Clasico’,” said club CEO Hans-Joachim Watkze, referring to Saturday’s Dortmund-Bayern showdown.
Dortmund’s third straight victory buoyed spirits for Saturday’s match at Bayern, who are hunting a new head coach since Niko Kovac was fired last Sunday in the wake of a 5-1 drubbing at Eintracht Frankfurt, which left them fourth in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund, second in the German league, look to bring their Champions League form to the Allianz Arena where former Germany assistant coach Hansi Flick has been named interim Bayern boss for Wednesday’s Champions League clash at home to Olympiakos and Saturday’s Bundesliga game.
“If we play like that again, then we will also have a good chance in Munich,” said former Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl.
“We need again to have a lot of intensity and the same willingness to take risks.
“The boys played really well - that’s how we need to play on Saturday.”
Dortmund have won four, and Bayern six, of their last 10 meetings.
It’s more than two years since Dortmund last won at the Allianz Arena, a 3-2 win in the German Cup semi-finals in April 2017.
England winger Jadon Sancho and ex-Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer scored the goals when the hosts beat Bayern 2-0 for the German Super Cup in Dortmund last August in the most recent meeting.
Sancho, 19, suffered a thigh strain against Inter, making him doubtful to play in Munich, while Dortmund captain Marco Reus has a foot injury.
Borussia defender Mats Hummels, who returned in June after three years in Munich, helped Bayern win last season’s Bundesliga title and scored against Dortmund in a 5-0 drubbing last April at the Allianz Arena.
“It’s about keeping up against them,” said Hummels on how to beat Bayern, who have won just three of their last six games.
“We had the feeling, right from the start, that we were going to win (against Inter)... and that is exactly the feeling we must not give them (Bayern),” he added.
Dortmund, and Hummels in particular, will need to contain Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 20 goals so far in 16 games for Bayern.
The Poland striker has scored in the first 10 league games this season, a Bundesliga record he will be looking to extend and the 31-year-old already has 14 league goals in 2019/20.
Lewandowski is currently on course to beat Gerd Mueller’s phenomenal record of 40 goals scored in 34 league games during the 1971/72 Bundesliga season.