Do you remember how Jürgen Klopp paralyzed Bayern superstars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry in 2011 as coach of BVB with a tactile trick of "rocking"? Or how is the Bastian Schweinsteiger in the league leagues in 2013, the tactical order of his Bavaria thrown over the roof and leverage from the depth of the Dortmund press?
Of course, when fans talk about past duels between Dortmund and Bayern, then there are hardly any such tactical aspects. Football analysts are still speaking with the recognition of these games.
Only: these times have long disappeared. The competition of the two top teams of the Bundesliga has mutated from a tactical point of view in the last few years to an average. Innovation? Especially smart matching plans? Lately, it was more likely to see him in Hoffenheim, Bremen or Schalke.
If on Saturday Dortmund receives Bayern (18.30 pm, TV: sky, live mark SPIEGEL ONLINE), again gripping. This is mainly due to the BVB coach Lucien Favre. Not only does Borussia lead the table under Swiss. The coach is considered a tried tactician. And in the past he turned out to be his Bavarians.
Four wins, three games, seven defeats are his record. His team has always gone as pure outside players against Munich. Nevertheless, only Bundesliga players scored higher than the record-breaking champion (1.40 points per game, Favre: 1.07).
With Hertha BSC (2007-2009) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (2011-2015), Favre Bayern disappointed with sophisticated defense plans. The coach is known with complete movement in space with his teams. The gaps between the four chains remain low, the middle of the condensation, after a balancing ball with fourteen opponents: So the Favres teams usually started against Bayern.
The influence of Van Gaal
Before the game on Saturday, the question arises whether Favre his Dortmund is also quite defensive this time. At the beginning of the season he defended the team in 4-1-4-1. Only three players were waiting for a counterattack. Finally, BVB celebrated successes with a more aggressive line. Dortmund worked in the 4-2-3-1 system with four specific offensive forces. Marco Reus enjoys a lot of freedoms like ten. Will Dortmund stay loyal to football in the last few weeks? Ali Ali Favre makes an angel mistake and puts away the 4-1-4-1 goal.
The answer can be decided on the tactical situation of the match. While Favre has already proven his tactical flexibility, Bavarian coach Niko Kovač became more stubborn. Regardless of what the opponent is or what kind of players were available: Kovac remained loyal to this 4-3-3 formation that Bayern played in the days of Louis van Gaal (2009-2011). The team is still attached to the philosophy that the Dutchman once brought to Munich: many properties and constant attacks on wings are faith.
For Bayern, there is no question about how to play, but who is playing. Formation in the middle should be a hint. Does he choose a defensive version with Javi Martínez, as it is clearer than defense? This variant enhances protection. However, Martínez does not have the ability to form a game from the depths. This ultimately led to bad ideas, as seen from the Berne 2-0 without AEK in Athens in the Champions League.
Does Kovac risk a risky item? In this case, Joshua Kimmich moved to the center. Even more aggressive would be this variant when, in addition to Kimmich, James Rodríguez and Thomas Müller are two attackers in the middle. Although this promises a more entertaining opportunity to break the Dortmund compact circuit, it is likely to be more susceptible to a counterattack at Dortmund in half. In particular, Reus could operate as hanging forward with the speed of defense.
A gift for a Dortmund counter
There is another possibility for Kovač: a radical departure from the Bavarian philosophy. In Frankfurt, the Croats celebrated their biggest successes when his team seemed quite defensive. There he was sympathetic to the 3-5-2 system. In the central compact stand and counter: this would make Kovac Dortmund in fact on the wrong foot. In addition, the triple chain with Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels would be poison to the counter of Dortmund.
Such a tactic would give BVB the task. How does he react when he has to form a game against Munich? Would Favre be prepared for such an approach? The result would be uncertain.
Is this likely? It's not true. Instead, a classic version is expected: Dortmund is waiting in deep 4-1-4-1 and hides behind a counterattack, while Bayern runs both the defensive 4-3-3 variant and reduces the risk. It would not be a football festival. But the logical continuation of the match, which has lost its appeal and level.