Both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are gearing up for a derby weekend on StarTimes. Zidane’s team will face city rivals Atlético whom they meet in the La Liga’s El Derbi while in Bundesliga, Der Klassiker Derby will see Lewandowski clash with Haaland as Bayern face Borussia Dortmund.
Real Madrid are more used to be chased than chasing – and if they do the chasing, it is generally their big rivals Barcelona who are ahead of them.
This year, it is all different.
A disappointing 1-all draw at home against Real Sociedad on Monday, keeps Los Blancos third in the table – equal on points with Barcelona, but behind on goal difference. (Though in Spain the head-to-head clash is the first deciding factor if teams are equal on points.)
What is more worrisome for coach Zinedine Zidane without doubt, is the fact that city rivals Atlético Madrid, whom they meet in the El Derbi on Sunday, are not only five points ahead of Real, they have also played a game less.
Against Sociedad, Real needed an 89th minute equaliser from Junior Vinicius to salvage at least the draw. Real was missing a number of key players through injury, like Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos or Daniel Carvajal.
Zidane might be able to call on Benzema, Hazard and Carvajal against Diego Simeone’s team, but it is likely that Real will find the going quite tough.
Even more so than Real Madrid in Spain, Bayern Munich are used to be well ahead of the chasing pack in the German Bundesliga.
But since RB Leipzig’s 3-2 come-back victory on the weekend against Borussia Mönchengladbach – in a match, in which the home side were two goals down after just 19 minutes – the Bavarians will be aware that they have a battle on their hands if they want to win a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title.
A draw at home against lowly Bielefeld and defeat in Frankfurt saw their advantage over Julian Nagelsmann’s team shrink to two points, and with a tough Klassiker coming up on the weekend, Bayern fans will be weary of a tough game.
The Klassiker is the Bundesliga’s most important derby and like the El Derbi being played in La Liga this weekend, the game in the Allianz Arena on Saturday again Borussia Dortmund is a must-win for both sides.
Bayern are feeling RB Leipzig breath down their necks, while Dortmund is in danger of slipping dangerously far behind a fourth-placed finish which would give them a Champions League place.
Portuguese international Raphael Guerreiro is aware that Dortmund no longer have a chance of winning the title. “We have to stay hopeful of reaching the higher places. We will fight hard for second place.
“Part of this of course is getting good results against the big teams, as we have learned the hard way. We will try to beat them, as we always do. Unfortunately, that has not always worked for us in recent years, but we always try to play the best possible football. And to compete with them. I am certain that we will manage it one day,” he said.
History is certainly on the side of the team from the Bavarian capital, as they have won 49 of the 103 league matches between the two sides, with 29 draws.
The last time Dortmund won in Munich was in 2014. Since then, they have lost six straight games, conceding 26 goals and scoring just three.
These two footballing highlights – as well as many others – will be broadcast live and in HD throughout Africa on the StarTimes channels as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator has secured the rights for both the Bundesliga and the La Liga, as well as for the coming UEFA Euro 2020.