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Matchday 24: world’s most feared strikers slug it out in Der Klassiker this weekend

Der Klassiker

Two of the world’s most feared strikers will slug it out on Matchday 24 in the Bundesliga when Robert Lewandowski’s FC Bayern München host Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.

Defending champions FC Bayern need a win to stay clear of RB Leipzig in the title race, while Borussia Dortmund is targeting a top-four finish that would secure their return to the UEFA Champions League next season.

Former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski will hope to outgun Norwegian sensation, Erling Haaland, on Saturday, with the Pole in line to finish as the league’s top scorer for the sixth time in his career. The 32-year-old already has a staggering 28 goals in 22 league games this term, and he got one of them in Bayern’s 3-2 win in Dortmund last November.

Haaland also netted one of his 17 Bundesliga goals this season in that game. With Dortmund starting Matchday 24 in fifth place, he’ll be keen to fire his team to a first league win away to the champions since 2014.

All the more so given that the 20-year-old has failed to score in his last two matches. Haaland has recently been upstaged by England winger Jadon Sancho, who was on target in both last week’s 3-0 win over DSC Arminia Bielefeld and then a 1-0 DFB Cup victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The heavyweight clash on Saturday evening in Munich will be broadcast in more than 200 countries and is just one of nine intriguing fixtures to look forward to.

The action kicks off at the other end of the table on Friday night when new FC Schalke 04 boss Dimitrios Grammozis takes charge against second-bottom 1. FSV Mainz 05. Schalke have only nine points on the board and trail their visitors by eight points with 11 games to play, so Grammozis is in need of a winning start.

RB Leipzig could go a point clear at the top on Saturday if they win at SC Freiburg before Bayern play. Confidence will be high in Julian Nagelsmann’s squad following a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach and a midweek German Cup quarter-final success against VfL Wolfsburg.

Sitting in eighth, however, SC Freiburg is no slouches. They scored an impressive win away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen last time out and also beat Borussia Dortmund at home last month. Eintracht Frankfurt’s five-match winning streak came to an end at SV Werder Bremen, so the fourth-placed Eagles will hope to get back to their winning ways on Saturday against the “young and wild” VfB Stuttgart.

Stuttgart is 10th after winning their last two, but their American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo must come up with a plan to stop Eintracht’s 19-goal frontman, Andre Silva.

Ninth meets sixth when Gladbach host Leverkusen, while Wolfsburg will be out to recover from their 2-0 cup loss at RB Leipzig by extending their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to ten matches. The Wolves are sitting pretty in third ahead of their visit to TSG Hoffenheim in 11th.

Having picked up only two points from nine games, Hertha Berlin is hovering just above the relegation zone ahead of their home match with FC Augsburg. On Saturday their FIFA World Cup winner Sami Khedira has a family reunion in the capital. The veteran midfielder’s younger brother Rani plays for Augsburg, who are 13th.

On Sunday, 1. FC Köln –only three points above Hertha –will need to snap a three-game losing run that continued with a 5-1 hammering away to FC Bayern last time out. Bremen are the visitors in that tie, while third-from-bottom Arminia Bielefeld –who this week placed former Germany U20 coach Frank Kramer in charge –will face seventh-placed 1. FC Union Berlin at home.

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