Tactical previews are all nice and well ahead of a big clash like Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich, which could pre-determine the winner of the 2019-20 Bundesliga crown, however, they are often a bit abstract.
So here are three very concrete things that Dortmund will have to make sure to ensure that Bayern Munich do not prance to their 8th consecutive league win.
Target Jerome Boateng’s hammies
Centre-back Jerome Boateng is still a powerhouse for FCB. Especially in this match his proactive defensive style can cause headaches for the Black and Yellows.
But the 31-year-old has one big weakness: his hamstrings. Against Eintracht Frankfurt, it took all but one 30-yard dash against an opponent for him to walk rather gingerly afterwards and ultimately being subbed off. Forcing Hansi Flick to burn a substitution on a centre-back is a job for the quick Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland or Thorgan Hazard.
Get Manuel Neuer sent off
Have you grown tired of promising vertical balls played behind Bayern’s backline into the path of attackers only for Manuel Neuer to enter the frame at the last second — and the commentators fawning over how the former Schalke goalkeeper has revolutionised the goalkeeping game for the 2323123rd time?
In the past, the 34-year-old has been incredibly lucky with his exploits beyond the penalty box against Dortmund. But with BVB’s new Norwegian superweapon, Neuer’s sometimes flimsy judgement could turn out to be game-deciding.
He would not be the first goalkeeper to horribly underestimate Haaland’s pace and force and why not draw a foul 30 yards away from the Bayern goal if it means a straight red card. Added bonus if the foul looks brutal enough: Neuer could be suspended for games against Düsseldorf, Leverkusen and Gladbach.
Rile up Joshua Kimmich until he does something stupid
Ever notice that Joshua Kimmich runs across the football field as if he hadn’t pooped in eight weeks? Even against seemingly minor opponents, the central midfielder is finding a way to run beserk — and to channel his pent-up anger into positive outcomes on the football field.
Kimmich’s ability to resolutely tackle in counter-pressing situations has been a blessing for Bayern Munich but if you provoke him, the 25-year-old’s healthy aggression can turn into a reckless furor. Him stomping on Jadon Sancho’s feet in the last DFL Supercup is the best example and he was very lucky not to get sent off for it.
Obviously the best tactic to annoy the living heck out of Kimmich is to lead by a handful of goals but in the meantime, this is the perfect job for Emre Can and Mahmoud Dahoud.
In the home leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League Can started out the match with a quite brutal foul on Neymar in midfield just to let the Brazilian know what kinda night it’s going to be. While it worked out like a charm in Dortmund’s 2-1 win at home against PSG, Can was sent off in the second leg after Neymar won the shithouse battle by letting himself fall to the ground. However, there is no second leg this time so get under that Kimmich skin like a motherf**cker.