Flick on Klassiker: The world will be watching

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The eyes of the sporting world will be on Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Treble-winning coach Hansi Flick has said.

Dortmund and Bayern will meet at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday (live on ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET) to play out the biggest match in the German domestic calendar. Six match days into the season, the two biggest Bundesliga clubs are separated only by goal difference at the top of the table.

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In recent years, the Klassiker has rarely lived up to the expectations as Bayern put a stranglehold on the league and Dortmund. In May, Bayern ended BVB’s title hopes with a 1-0 win at the Westfalenstadion in what was one of the first Geisterspiele, a game without fans. This weekend, Dortmund can climb to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time since August 2019. But they will have to do so against a highly motivated Bayern.

“It’s Der Klassiker. Everyone is fired up. We know that the whole world will be watching. That’s even more motivation,” Flick — who started his Bundesliga coaching career with a 4-0 statement Klassiker win at the Allianz almost a year ago — told a news conference on Friday. “We are confident and will do all we can to win this.”

Since that day in November 2019, Dortmund have added Norwegian wunderkind Erling Haaland and the attacker has not stopped scoring ever since his hat trick on his Bundesliga debut at Augsburg in January.

But Flick warned that Bayern must “not only watch Haaland,” who has scored 26 goals and set up a further six in only 28 competitive matches for Dortmund.

A short break following the Treble win Lisbon in August, a packed schedule ever since and injury problems have forced the Bayern coach to constantly reshuffle his defence.

This has led to Bayern conceding nine goals in just six Bundesliga games, seven more than Dortmund. But, other than a shock 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim early on in the season, Munich have maintained a 100% record in all competitions.

“I am very happy with the results, even though we concede a lot of goals,” Flick said and warned that Dortmund will bring “enormous qualities in transition play and a lot of quality in attack” to the pitch on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund will address the media later on Friday.