No home rule: Bayern out to show Dortmund who’s boss
Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich aim to continue the Bundesliga’s current trend of teams winning on the road behind closed doors when they face Borussia Dortmund in a potential title decider on Tuesday.
Leaders Bayern arrive at second-placed Dortmund four points clear and on course for an eighth straight title.
“For us this is a very decisive week,” insisted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.
“We’ve clearly set ourselves the goal of three victories this week and taking a giant step forward” towards the league title.
Bayern warmed-up by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 at the weekend and also host relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf this Saturday.
Since the Bundesliga resumed ten days ago, behind locked doors due to the coronavirus, home advantage has counted for little with 10 of the 18 games played won by the away team.
Bayern and Dortmund are among only three clubs — the other being Hertha Berlin who thrashed neighbours FC Union 4-0 on Friday — to have won at home since the restart.
Hansi Flick’s Bayern are eager to continue the trend and again assert their dominance over Dortmund, who they routed 4-0 in Munich last November.
“We’re looking forward to Tuesday – I hope that we can show what makes us strong and leave Dortmund’s stadium with a smile,” added Mueller.
Signal Iduna Park would normally be packed with 82,000 fans for a visit of Bayern, but the terraces will remain empty on Tuesday.
“It will still be a hard day’s work,” Mueller added.
“We’re marching, Dortmund is marching.”
Dortmund winger Raphael Guerreiro is in form with three goals in his last two games and was on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Wolfsburg.
The Portugal star also netted twice in the 4-0 rout of arch rivals Schalke the previous weekend in the Ruhr derby.
Dortmund are waiting on the fitness of key defender Mats Hummels, who injured his Achilles’ tendon at Wolfsburg.
In the Bayern camp, midfielder Thiago Alcantara has a groin strain while centre-back Jerome Boateng picked up a leg knock on Saturday.
Having beaten Bayern 2-0 at home in the pre-season Super Cup match last August and 3-2 in the league in November 2018, Dortmund are eager to again send the Bavarians home disappointed.
“I hope we can get the next victory,” said Dortmund’s Swiss centre-back Manuel Akanji.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve always lost to Bayern away, but won at home. I want to keep this series going.”