Bayern Munich"s, Borussia Dortmund"s biggest offseason questions after final Der Klassiker of the season


Dan Thomas is joined by Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others khổng lồ bring you the latest highlights and debate the biggest storylines. Stream on (U.S. Only).

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It has become fashionable lớn belittle the club"s merciless annual rite of Bundesliga passage, but 10 in a row is something worth extolling. Bayern fans trek to lớn Munich from far and wide, và for many - their travel movements restricted by the pandemic - this will be an occasion to lớn savour and remember. If they beat Dortmund on Saturday, there might even be a few Weissbierdusche celebrations, which involve players and staff pouring copious amounts of Bavarian wheat beer over each other on the pitch.

Up in Dortmund, where the art of beer brewing dates back to lớn 1293, they generally prefer a Pilsener, not that coach Marco Rose has had any time lớn enjoy such recreational pleasures in another week of injury & illness nightmares. Borussia Dortmund as a club has become the Pechvogel (the unlucky one) in the casualties department.

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As Rose said himself on Thursday, it would be quicker to menu players who are available than khổng lồ outline who"s not và why. U.S. International Giovanni Reyna has suffered one setback after another this term and is sidelined for the long haul. Star man Erling Haaland has been restricted to trăng tròn appearances & continues to lớn play through the pain barrier.

Now it has emerged that keeper Gregor Kobel và Axel Witsel will be missing on Saturday due khổng lồ an ankle injury and infection, respectively. The Schwarzgelben (black & yellows) might want to lớn temporarily call themselves the Schwarzblauen ("the black và blues"). No Bundesliga club has taken a more severe bruising in recent months.

Yet for all that, BVB are 13 points better off than they were this time last season. Granted there have been meltdowns, such as at home against Bayer Leverkusen & RB Leipzig, và with Bayern themselves making the odd mistake, some will argue that they should be closer points-wise to the top spot. Given the BVB personnel problems, I"m not sure it was doable.


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The other less discussed asset is the youth system. Last week, on an idyllic spring Saturday, 17-year-old Tom Rothe was thrust into the Ruhrpott sunshine in the 6-1 thumping of Wolfsburg, and delivered a sparkling performance capped off by a headed goal to open the scoring. Two other youngsters later got their first Bundesliga minutes, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens & Lion Semic. This is a particularly able crop coming through, under the aegis of U-19 coach Mike Tullberg. Having already won the western championship, Dortmund now have designs on the national league and cup crowns. Don"t underestimate the BVB Talentschmiede (talent factory.)

Bayern have always been less reliant on younger players than Dortmund, priding themselves on mostly signing the finished article. That some of their recent squad signings - for instance, Bouna Sarr và Marc Roca - have not been Bayern standard is the reason why sporting chief Hasan Salihamidzic has been so widely criticised. At times it has left the overall squad weaker than for example a club such as Leipzig và certainly shallower than most of their Champions League competitors.

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Will they go to lớn the now frequently drilled Leipzig again to lớn try khổng lồ sign pressing quái nhân Konrad Laimer? Might they try to pip Dortmund at the post for Schlotterbeck? It"s going khổng lồ be a summer spent under scrutiny for Salihamidzic, technical director Marco Neppe and CEO/supervisory board chair Oliver Kahn.

Contract issues have been the main focus in the media. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Serge Gnabry all have giao dịch terminating in 2023. With Muller và Neuer at least, Bayern are close to getting everything over the line.

On the pitch, Bayern need significantly better leadership for the long haul. They have talented defenders but lack a natural authority figure at the back.

Burley: Dortmund can"t chiến bại Haaland and close gap khổng lồ BayernCraig Burley sees no upside for Borussia Dortmund if Erling Haaland departs as expected.

It arguably applies off the pitch as well. At times this season, Nagelsmann himself was left to serve as statesman/spokesman/diplomat on all manner of topics while Kahn & Salihamidzic fell silent in comparison. Former president Uli Hoeness, while not universally popular outside the Bayern sphere, had a way of using his gargantuan status to take the pressure off those around him.

Bayern will win the famous shield for a 10th time in a row soon, và there"s a very real chance it will happen on Saturday in the Bundesliga"s showcase match to lớn the world.

Then we can look forward to a different close season Fernduell (a duel fought at long distance), which will be fascinating in determining the future prospects of Germany"s big two.