Every single matchday the Bundesliga is full of intriguing and exciting games, but this weekend provides us with one of the most exciting matchup of them all. Saturday afternoon, Borussia Dortmund will visit the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich in a match that was been dubbed Der Klassiker.
Unfortunately, the potential is there that this year's game will look an awful lot like the one played late last season between these two teams. Both teams had midweek matches in the UEFA Champions League, and both will be playing in the semifinals of the DFB Pokal midweek next week. It's very likely that we'll see both sides play weakened sides in the match in an attempt to keep everyone fit for the important matches. Why, you ask? As you know, the race for the title is completed (Bayern have a 20 point lead with 5 games left.), and BVB have a 10 point lead over fourth place.
What should you expect from the match? We should see a mixture of regular players and reserves for both teams as they prepare for the more important Pokal match midweek. This is potentially the last time that BVB supporters will get to see Robert Lewandowski in a yellow jersey against Bayern (They could play in the Pokal Final.) before he joins the Bavarians in the summer. It'll be interesting to see if Pep Guardiola trusts Pierre Hojbjerg enough to give him a run out in the center of the park for Bayern this week. He performed well against Augsburg last weekend, and it would be a big boost to his confidence to start against BVB.
Overall, for both teams, this match really doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things.
On the opposite end of the table, only four points separates 13th and 18th place. If bottom-of-the-table Eintracht Braunschweig can get a victory away to Freiburg, Die Löwen will find themselves out of the relegation zone if other results go their way. It won't be easy, though. Christian Streich's Freiburg have only lost once in their last five matches, and a win would do big things for them and their survival battle.
Two points separates relegation foes Hannover and Hamburg, and they'll face each other on Saturday in a very big match. If Hannover win, it'll move them five points clear of the relegation zone, while a win by Hamburg will finally move them back out of the relegation zone. The player to watch in this one is, of course, Hakan Calhanoglu.
Friday, April 11
Schalke vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Saturday, April 12
Hannover vs Hamburg
Freiburg vs Eintracht Braunschweig
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Stuttgart
Wolfsburg vs Nürnberg
Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund
Sunday, April 13
Hoffenheim vs Augsburg