Wednesday , June 16 2021

Borussia Dortmund Bayern Munich: Bites again






Do you still remember how Jurgen Klopp paralyzed Baiern superstar Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in 2011 as coach of BVB with a tactical trick? Or how was the Bastian Schweinsteiger in the Champions League final in 2013, the tactical order of his Bayern was thrown and moved from the depths of the Dortmund press?

Of course, when fans talk about past duels between Dortmund and Bayern, then it is difficult to deal with such tactical aspects. Football analysts still speak with the recognition of these matches.

Only: These times have long disappeared. The collision of the two top teams of the Bundesliga mutated in recent years from a tactical point of view to an average. Innovation? Especially plans of a smart match? It's more likely to be seen in Hoffenheim, Bremen or Schalke.

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Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich:
Cartographic record and kung fu boat

It's about again

If Saturday Dortmund receives Bayern (18.30 pm, TV: Ski, live TICKER SPIEGEL ONLINE), it's tingles again. This is largely thanks to BVB coach Lucien Favre. Not only does Borussia lead a beneath Switzerland. The coach is also considered to be a proven tactician. And he proved in the past that Bavaria was his.

Four victories, three unresolved, seven defeats is his record. His team has always gone as clear outsiders in the matches against Munich. Despite this, only Julian Nagelsmann scored more points against record champions by the governing Bundesliga coaches (1.40 points per game, Favre: 1.07).

With Herta BSC (2007-2009) and Borussia Monchengladbach (2011-2015), Favre Bayern was upset with sophisticated defensive plans. The coach is known for perfect movement in the space with his teams. Leaks between the four chains are low, the middle is condensed, after a flat ball with four opponents of the opponent: So, the Favreas teams usually started against Baiern.

Van Gaal's influence

Before the match on Saturday, the question arises whether Favre his Dortmund is also quite defensive this time. At the beginning of the season, he defended the team at 4-1-4-1. Only three players waited for a counter-attack. However, BVB recently celebrated success with the striker. Dortmund operated in the 4-2-3-1 system with four distinct offensive powers. Marco Reus enjoys a lot of freedom as ten. Will Dortmund stay faithful to the hurray football in the last few weeks? Or does Favre sacrifice offensive power and bets on a reinforced defense at 4-1-4-1?

The answer can decide on the tactical situation in the match. While Favre has already proven his tactical flexibility, Bavarian coach Niko Kovac was more stubborn. Whatever the opponent is called or who the players are at his disposal: Kovač remained loyal to the 4-3-3 formation played by Baiern in the days of Louis van Gaal (2009-2011). The team is still tied to the philosophy that the Dutchman once brought to Munich: a lot of possession and a constant attack on the wings is credo.

For Bayern, the question is not how to play, but who plays. The formation in the middle should be a sign. Does he choose the defensive variant with Java Martinez, which is clearer than the defense? This variant enhances protection. However, Martinez has no ability to shape the game from the depth. This ultimately led to bad ideas, as can be seen in the unreleased Bayern 2-0 against AEK Athens in the Champions League.


Niko Kovač


ARMANDO BABANI / EPA-EFE / REKS / Shutterstock

Niko Kovač

Or, does Kovač risk a risky appearance? In this case, Joshua Kimmich would have moved to a central half. More variant would be this variant, when, besides Kimmich, James Rodriguez and Thomas Muller are two offensive players in the middle of the field. Although this promises more playful options to break Dortmund's compact binders, it is probably more susceptible to the Dortmund counter-attack at half time. In particular, Reus could work as high as he could with the speed of defense.

A gift for Counter Dortmund

There is another possibility for Kovač: a radical departure from the Bavarian philosophy. In Frankfurt, the Croatian celebrated its greatest successes when its team looked rather defensive. There he favored a system of 3-5-2. In the central compact stand and counter: That would make Kovac Dortmund really get on the wrong foot. In addition, the triple chain with Niklas Sule, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels will be a poison to the Dortmund counter.

Such a tactic would give BVB tasks. How does he react when he has to form a game against Munich? Would Favre be ready for such an approach? The outcome would be uncertain.

But is it likely? Not really. Instead, a classic version is expected: Dortmund is waiting in deep 4-1-4-1 and is hiding behind a counter-attack, while Baiern runs in defensive 4-3-3 ball variations and minimizes risk. It would not be a football festival. But the logical continuation of the duel that has lost its attractiveness and level.


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