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Klassiker Q&A: Bavarian Football Works dishes on Borussia Dortmund

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What should be Lucien Favre’s gameplan to break down Bundesliga bogeyman Bayern Munich?

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Supercup 2020 Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

After Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win in the Champions League, the Yellow and Black return home to face the big bullies of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich. Bayern itself is coming off of a 6-2 win against RB Salzburg, but that game was far more tense than the final scoreline suggests. Saturday will be an interesting test for both team.

But now permit me to put on my Bayern hat and answer some questions that the Fear the Wall staff asked in anticipation of the big game:

Which BVB player do you fear the most?

That would be Erling Haaland. The kid is a beast. He has not only shown incredible finishing and determination in the penalty area, but he also has the pace to drive deep behind Bayern Munich’s high back-line and challenge Manuel Neuer one on one. Bayern’s defense has not consistently covered itself in glory this campaign. It’s quite impressive that BVB has conceded just 2 goals so far compared to Bayern’s 9. I could well imagine Haaland being the difference-maker for BVB, if Bayern fails to keep the ball away from him.

Then there’s Mo Dahoud. What is up with that dude’s ‘stache? Does he drive a windowless van, too?

What “weakness” do you think Bayern should try to exploit?

I think Bayern will try to smother BVB’s midfield — presumably Witsel and Dahoud? They will press hard to keep the ball from reaching Dortmund’s forwards while using their advantage in the center (presuming they secure it) to feed the ball to their own attackers, especially on the wings. If Dortmund can escape that pressure, they might be able to unleash their speedsters behind Bayern’s back line, but that’s the risk Bayern will anticipate.

If you were Lucien Favre, what would your gameplan be to beat Bayern?

RB Salzburg illustrated how to beat Bayern very nicely this past Tuesday — and also how that plan can go spectacularly wrong. Salzburg started the game very aggressively, pressing hard and creating chances with one-touch passing and fast breaks. They managed to score the first goal of the game and, despite Bayern’s 2-1 lead at halftime, scored the 2-2 equalizer ten minutes into the second half. But ten minutes and three Bayern substitutions later, Salzburg completely collapsed.

Favre has the players to pull it off, and he has a potential advantage in that Bayern’s most consistent defender, Niklas Süle, is currently in quarantine. Jerome Boateng may be tired from playing on Tuesday, and David Alaba and Benjamin Pavard have been in relatively poor form.

If you could have any BVB players (and you can’t, you gross, spoiled idiots), who would it be?

OK, American bias, but Gio Reyna! He’s awesome, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch him develop and perform on such a big stage.


Bonus questions:

How afraid are you of Delaney?

Who?

Do you people just like being the villain or something? Did someone hurt you?

Personally, no. I got into German Fußball while actually living in Munich. I don’t really relish being the villain, although I certainly enjoy seeing great soccer. I am a big fan of far less successful teams in other sports, so I also know the love-hate feeling of watching promising teams collapse and even consecutive last-place finishes.

Why does Kimmich have such a punchable face?

Press Conference National Team Germany Photo by Ina Fassbender/picture alliance via Getty Images

He’s grown progressively more punchable as he has shed baby fat and climbed — inevitably, it seems — to the captaincy of Bayern and Germany. He’s a frightening monster, who embodies Bayern’s “Always Win” mentality even at his relatively small size. He has zero chill on the pitch. And his face is even more punchable when he wears his Movember moustache. Sorry/not sorry.

Which team are you excited to kick like a broken puppy next?

Yours, obviously!

Why are you all so horny for Goretzka?

Have you seen him?