BERLIN – Borussia Dortmund has to beat Bayern Munich on Tuesday if anyone is to have a realistic chance of stopping the seven-time defending champion from claiming yet another Bundesliga title.
“This game will be decisive. If we lose, it’s more or less over,” Dortmund defender Raphaël Guerreiro said after his side’s 2-0 victory at Wolfsburg on Saturday. “At the same time, if we win, we can still dream of the title.”
Dortmund is four points behind Bayern with seven games of the season remaining — if they can be played. The league was suspended for two months due to the threat of the new coronavirus and only allowed to resume on May 16 under strict hygiene conditions.
If it needs to be called off again, final league places will likely be determined on current position, though the league’s measures against the virus appear to be working for now.
No supporters are allowed to attend any games for the rest of the season, ensuring Tuesday’s game — known in Germany as “der Klassiker” — in Dortmund’s 80,000-capacity Westfalenstadion will be the quietest ever Bundesliga clash between the old rivals.
However, Dortmund showed it can cope without the support of its “Yellow Wall” of almost 25,000 standing fans in its south terrace when it defeated Schalke 4-0 in the Ruhr derby on the league’s restart.
“It’s certainly different emotionally without spectators,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “It comes down to the values that we brought to the field in the last two games. The team was right on point.”
Both Bayern and Dortmund have been in record-breaking form with nine wins from 10 games since the season’s halfway stage. Bayern’s only slip was a scoreless draw with Leipzig on Feb. 9, while Dortmund dropped three points in a somewhat unlucky 4-3 defeat in Leverkusen the day before.