The season’s first Classic 2021/22 takes place on Tuesday night, when DFB-Pokal winner Borussia Dortmund meets Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park.
It has been a less than satisfactory start to the Julian Nagelsmann era at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern enduring an unbeaten pre-season before only succeeding 1-1 against Borussia Monchengladbach on match day one of the new Bundesliga season.
BVB, on the other hand, have won their last three and got domestic issues off to an exciting start by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2.
Beating their old enemy would be crucial to maintaining their positive momentum, and here is the lineup that Marco Rose could choose to do just that.
Borussia Dortmund’s new number one / Joosep Martinson / Getty Images
Gregor Kobel (GK) – Enjoyed an impressive season in Stuttgart last semester and got a move to BVB this summer. Seems to be the preferred option between the sticks and should start on Tuesday.
Felix Passlack (RB) – Scored an own goal in Dortmund’s league opener, but was otherwise a solid performer and, with Thomas Meunier and Mateu Morey unavailable, nailed for a fresh start.
Axel Witsel (CB) – We will not see the best of Witsel in the middle of the defense, but with Mats Hummels and Dan-Axel Zagadou out of action, Rose’s hand has been forced somewhat.
Manuel Akanji (CB) – At least the Dortmund boss has a natural central defender, right? Akanji was impressive with Switzerland at Euro 2020 and will hope for a similar season 2021/22.
Nico Schulz (LB) – Raphael Guerreiro, who previously sat on the sidelines, is back in training ahead of Tuesday night, but it is unlikely that he is ready for competition efforts – which means another opportunity for Schulz.
Jude Bellingham will play a major role in Borussia Dortmund’s season / Joosep Martinson / Getty Images
Jude Bellingham (CM) – We all know what the 18-year-old injects into a team, and after an astonishing development during his entire first BVB campaign last term, he should be considered one of the side’s most important assets.
Emre Can (CM) – Back from injury after missing Dortmund’s first match of the campaign and can come straight to the side, giving Rose the opportunity to take Witsel back to midfield or use Can in a straight switch.
Gio Reyna (AM) – Reyna can produce the unexpected and is a dangerous player to face, and after being influential in his side’s battle against Frankfurt, he should be in line for a lead role on Tuesday night.
A true target machine / INA FASSBENDER / Getty Images
Thorgan Hazard (RW) – Did not do his best for Dortmund during the 2020/21 campaign but looks good right now, after striking out in the Bundesliga.
Erling Haaland (ST) – This man never seems to be out of shape. Two more strikes and two assists in BVB’s 5-2 opener say that the win sees his number rise to 62 goals and 18 assists in just 61 games for the club. Silly.
Marco Reus (LW) – A staple in Borussia Dortmund’s modern era, Reus continues to perform for the club he has been at for almost a decade. Opened the score last time, and should once again for the side.