Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich: der Klassiker combined XI

Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich: der Klassiker combined XI

Borussia Dortmund. Bayern Munich. Germany’s two biggest football clubs.

Two fantastic stadiums. Two fantastic fanbases. Two fantastic squads.

Over the past decade, the Bundesliga has been dominated by Bayern, with the Bavarian giants having won the past 10 titles.

In that time, Dortmund have finished as runners-up on six occasions.

They were also the last team to win the league before Bayern.

Since Jürgen Klopp led BVB to consecutive Bundesliga titles, a first ever league-cup double and a UEFA Champions League final, which the club lost to their ‘der Klassiker’ rivals, they have struggled to break their spell of dominance.

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich, Wembley Stadium, UEFA Champions League Final, May 2013
(Photo: Flickr)

A two point deficit in 2019 under Lucien Favre was the closest the Black and Yellows came to getting their hands back on the ‘Meisterschale’ crown.

Fast forward to 2023 and the clubs are back locking horns in a classic title race.

Following the World Cup break, a phenomenal spell of form for Edin Terzic’s men at the start of the year propelled them into title contention.

‘die Borussen’ have now spent three matchdays atop the summit of the table, compared to the 22 of Thomas Tuchel’s side.

In a time of change for this young squad under Terzic, the 2022-23 season has been a fantastic one for ‘die Schwarzgelben’, who have the fate of the ‘Meisterschale’ in their hands going into the final day.

But how the do the squads compare player for player?

*Based off the 2022-23 season only.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund team sheets, DFL-Supercup, August 2021
The team sheets for the 2021 DFL-Supercup ‘der Klassiker’ final

GK: Gregor Kobel – BVB

Although it may appear that Kobel only gets into this combined eleven as each of Bayern’s goalkeepers have only had half a season each, the Swiss international has rightfully earned plenty of plaudits throughout the campaign.

Manuel Neuer is one of the game’s all-time greatest ‘keepers and was enjoying another decent season before his injury after the World Cup, while Yann Sommer has transferred his top shot stopping displays from Borussia Mönchengladbach to the Allianz Arena.

However, Kobel has kept 11 clean sheets in 26 games so far this term for Dortmund and averages 3.3 saves per game.

Some of those saves have been crucial to BVB’s title charge and at just 25, the sky is the limit.

He’s already swiftly becoming a fan favourite at Signal Iduna Park and it’s music to the ears of the Yellow Wall, that he wants to spend his whole career there, emulating the great Roman Weidenfeller.

RB: Benjamin Pavard – Bayern

Although he has played the majority of his football in the centre of the Bayern defence this season, Pavard has been really impressive for the reigning champions.

Marius Wolf has enjoyed a very successful campaign for his boyhood club, producing form which has seen him earn a first Germany call-up.

However, World Cup winner Pavard has been reliable at the back all year for the Reds from Munich and has even contributed seven goals going forward.

CB: Matthijs de Ligt – Bayern

Joining him in the first centre-back position is his teammate Matthijs de Ligt.

Having signed for Julian Nagelsmann’s ‘Roten’ in the summer for a reported €67million, the Dutchman, who is still just 23, has been a rock for his new club, adapting very quickly.

Niklas Süle, who swapped Bavaria for North Rhine-Westphalia last summer, has been excellent for ‘die Borussen’ but de Ligt has already been player of the month twice for Bayern and warrants a place in this eleven.

CB: Nico Schlotterbeck – BVB

Another man who changed clubs last summer, Schlotterbeck had been phenomenal for Freiburg, where he established himself as one of the most promising ball-playing defenders on the planet.

As a Germany international, the 23-year-old was and is one of German football’s hottest properties.

With four goals and four assists from his marauding central defender role, it’s fair to say he has hit the ground running. Along with Süle, he provides a defensive foundation the club can build upon for years to come.

LB: Raphael Guerreiro – BVB

Along with Alphonso Davies, Guerreiro is arguably more well-known for his offensive qualities, as opposed to those at the other end of the pitch.

This season has been no different for the Portuguese, who has racked up 15 direct goal involvements in the Bundesliga this season (12 assists/3 goals).

Although Davies has also enjoyed a strong campaign, Guerreiro was integral to Dortmund’s impeccable form at the turn of the new year, and he has maintained that since being moved into midfield.

That form has many fans crying out for the 29-year-old’s contract to be renewed.

CM: Joshua Kimmich – Bayern

Many fans at the Allianz Arena will tell you that Kimmich is Bayern’s most important player. Moulded into a world class defensive midfielder by Pep Guardiola, the 28-year-old has scored five goals and set up a further six from his role deep in the midfield.

The German international controls everything in Thomas Tuchel’s side and he’s only missed one match this term due to suspension. A must-have in this 11.

CM: Jude Bellingham – BVB

Probably BVB’s best player, Bellingham is also a guaranteed feature in this team.

The Englishman has turned into a star in North Rhine-Westphalia, showing great abilities at and in between both ends of the pitch, with maturity beyond his years.

14 goals and seven assists across all competitions, while also captaining the club on occasion, is just astounding for someone so young (19 years old).

Whatever happens this summer, the Yellow Wall will certainly be appreciative of his service during his three year stint.

RM: Leroy Sané – Bayern

One of the more debatable picks in this eleven, Leroy Sané takes the first position on the wings.

After an underwhelming first couple of seasons in Bavaria, the German has proven his quality this season, contributing 14 goals and nine assists from a variety of positions in the Bayern attack, earning more regular game time.

Although Donyell Malen is enjoying a fantastic 2023 in black and yellow, basing the team on the season as a whole sees Sané’s productive campaign rewarded.

CAM: Jamal Musiala – Bayern

Despite the pure importance of Kimmich in the Bayern midfield, most will tell you that Jamal Musiala is the club’s standout player and has been all season-long.

The 20-year-old’s last two seasons were impressive but this year, the former Chelsea youth player has propelled to global stardom and has arguably been the best player to watch in the Bundesliga throughout the campaign.

Not only has he performed incredibly well but Musiala has delivered the numbers to match, scoring 11 goals while setting up 13 in the league. He’s most definitely one of world football’s hottest properties.

LM: Julian Brandt – BVB

The final Borussia Dortmund player in this list is one of the club’s players of the season. Similarly to Sané, Julian Brandt hadn’t quite hit the heights expected of him from his previous club.

But now, the playmaker is enjoying his finest campaign as a black and yellow so far. 11 goals and nine assists in all competitions is a great record, while some of those goals have been vital in his team’s title charge.

With the ability to play wide or behind the striker, Brandt has been so reliable this term for Edin Terzic and certainly warrants a place in this 11.

ST: Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting – Bayern

Finally, the striker – the man who is required to score the goals to win games for his team.

For Borussia Dortmund, that role has had to be shared this season; teenage wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko has had a hand in 13 goals in all competitions this year, predominantly in substitute appearances.

Meanwhile Sébastien Haller was recruited from Ajax to replace the prolific Erling Haaland. Despite the major setback of his cancer diagnosis so soon into his BVB career, the Ivorian has stepped up upon his return, scoring nine times and assisting five, playing a big part in the club’s title charge.

But Bayern also had a big void to fill up top last summer after the departure of an icon of both sides, Robert Lewandowski.

Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, whose curious career has taken him to the Allianz, was tasked with replacing the Pole and at 34, he has contributed to 21 goals this term, which is very impressive.

Having won the past 10 league titles, Bayern Munich were always going to dominate a combined 11 with any other side in the Bundesliga.

But with a 6:5 ratio, Borussia Dortmund’s great recruitment and their fantastic performances this season under Edin Terzic are reflected, showing that the chasm between Bayern and the rest of the league is possibly finally starting to be bridged.

Heading into the final match with the fate of the title in their hands, Dortmund have a huge chance to make this statement and finally break Bayern’s dominance.

It’s been the best Bundesliga title race in years but who will prevail?

Bundesliga Table

  1. Borussia Dortmund – 70 points (GD: +39)
  2. Bayern Munich – 68 points (GD: +53)

Final day

Saturday, 27 May 2023 – 14:30 (BST)

  • Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz (9th)
  • Köln (10th) vs Bayern Munich