Julian Brandt believes he can achieve "something big" with Borussia Dortmund after ignoring interest from elsewhere to sign a new three-year contract.

The Germany international has shone in his attacking midfield role for BVB this term, playing a huge role in a title challenge that could go to the wire.

Brandt, who turns 27 in May, signed his latest contract on Tuesday, quashing the prospect of him being able to leave on a free transfer at the end of next season.

Liverpool and Arsenal are among the teams who have been linked with Brandt in recent weeks, and that comes as little surprise considering his strong campaign.

Only three midfielders in the Bundesliga have created more chances this season that Brandt's 57, which puts him 30 ahead of his nearest midfield club colleague, Jude Bellingham (27).

Brandt has eight goals and four assists in the league, with his 12 goal involvements also setting the benchmark for Dortmund's midfielders, putting him two ahead of Marco Reus and four clear of Bellingham.

He has played 164 passes, including crosses, into the opposition box, far and away the most of any Dortmund player, with his threat from the flanks making him a valuable asset.

Considering he has played 931 passes in all, more than one in six of those on average have gone into the penalty area (18 per cent).

With uncertainty lingering over Bellingham's future, as clubs look closely at the England international, Dortmund made sure to tie up former Bayer Leverkusen star Brandt to new terms.

Brandt said: "Even after four years, I still have a lot of fun every single day being part of precisely this team, being on the pitch with these lads and playing football for this highly emotional club with its extraordinary fans.

"In honesty, the feeling of being in the right place at the right time has always been the most important point of my sporting life. And that won't change either. I'm looking forward to the coming years in black and yellow and I'm sure that we'll have the opportunity to celebrate something big together."

Dortmund announced the extension on their website, describing it as "a core element of the medium-term squad planning", with sporting director Sebastian Kehl saying Brandt has "undergone another enormous development in the last year, is significantly more focused in his play off the ball, regularly sets up goals and shines himself as a goalscorer".

Ajax have finally filled the void left by Marc Overmars with the appointment of former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund transfer chief Sven Mislintat.

Overmars was sacked by Ajax in February 2022 after "a series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time".

The former Netherlands international apologised for his actions but departed the club, accepting a role at Belgian side Antwerp a month later.

In the meantime, Ajax have operated without a specific director of football, Overmars' duties instead handled by technical managers Gerry Hamstra and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Mislintat, who left Stuttgart in late 2022, will step into the void from May 19.

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said of the appointment: "It is good for Ajax that we have been able to fill this important position with an internationally experienced football director who can start quickly.

"A careful process preceded the search for the right person. We were looking for someone who stands for attacking and attractive football.

"Someone who has an international network, and has an eye for scouting, development, and the growth of our own youth.

"Sven meets the profile, and he made a very good impression on us from the first talks in February.

"In addition, he has a way of working that fits today's industry. I am convinced that he will make an important contribution to new successes of Ajax."

Mislintat made his name at Borussia Dortmund, where he was head of scouting and head of professional football between 2006 and 2017, playing a vital role in the identification of talents who re-established BVB among the elite.

Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mats Hummels, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele all signed for Dortmund on Mislintat's watch.

He became Arsenal's head of recruitment in 2017 but his spell in charge of transfers was largely deemed a disappointment, leaving in February 2019.

Mislintat returned to Germany with Stuttgart two months later, staying until late last year when he opted against signing a new contract as he sought a new challenge.

Jude Bellingham has been accused by Dietmar Hamann of lacking discipline in his game, with the former Germany midfielder urging suitors to be aware of the teenager's shortcomings.

Liverpool and Real Madrid are among clubs to have been linked with a move for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who could move on at the end of the season.

Any potential buyer may have to put up over €100million to prise Bellingham away from BVB, where his performance level has been reflected by him being handed the captaincy at times this term.

Hamann sees flaws in England international Bellingham's game, however.

The former Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich midfielder said: "I'm not quite sure about Bellingham. He's an incredibly talented player who has extraordinary skills. The only thing he doesn't have is discipline.

"If you look at the goals Dortmund have conceded in recent weeks and months, I can tell you off the top of my head five or six in which he played a key role."

Hamann was speaking on German broadcaster Sky Sport before Bellingham helped Dortmund to a 2-1 win over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga, staying two points behind leaders Bayern Munich with seven rounds of the season remaining.

"I would be careful if I'm Real Madrid, Liverpool or Manchester City," Hamann said.

"Of course he's an exceptional player who's still very young. But he's slowly got to get the discipline into his game."

Hamann, who managed English non-league club Stockport County after his playing career ended, said Bellingham would have to "play differently" if he joins a traditional heavyweight.

Clearly, Bellingham is already at a major club, but he could go on to join more of a perennial Champions League contender.

Hamann believes Bellingham is being indulged and can "do whatever he wants" while at Dortmund, with the club "afraid of upsetting him".

A different view was proposed after Dortmund's win by head coach Edin Terzic, who defended Bellingham's role, saying: "Jude is able to intervene very actively everywhere in the game, both when we have the ball and when the opponent has the ball."

Edin Terzic breathed a sigh of relief after Youssoufa Moukoko's late winner guided Borussia Dortmund past Union Berlin, keeping them in touch with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

Moukoko came off the bench to net the decisive goal after Donyell Malen's opener was cancelled out by Kevin Behrens, as BVB edged a battle between Bayern's two closest challengers 2-1.

The victory ensures Dortmund – who were beaten 4-2 by Bayern last week – remain two points adrift of Thomas Tuchel's league leaders with seven games still to play this term.

Terzic now has 32 wins from his first 50 league games in charge of Dortmund – more than any other Dortmund coach has posted in their first 50 matches at the helm – and the importance of their latest victory was not lost on the 40-year-old.

"It was a close but deserved win in an extremely important game for us," he told Sky Sport Germany. "We put in a really good performance in the first half, both offensively and defensively. 

"It's always difficult and always tight against Union Berlin. So we are very relieved to go home with a win.

"It is often not easy against this opponent. You can see the investment we had to make to get over the halfway line and have chances to score, and what the opponent had to invest to score.

"They are extremely dangerous on the break, and yet we managed to defend passionately at the end."

Moukoko reacted to his seventh league goal of the campaign by embracing Terzic on the touchline, and the Dortmund boss was pleased to see the young striker step up at a decisive moment.

"He's a goalscorer and has a feel for where the ball is going," he said. "I'm his coach and I want to have a close exchange with all the players – especially with such young players who have received a lot of praise in recent years. 

"When they are young, they only ever hear how good they are. Then they get into senior football and realise it's not that easy. 

"We want to help the boys grow up. It's extremely good for us that such a young guy once again decided the game for us."

Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly both in discussions with Benfica about a potential deal for striker Goncalo Ramos – although he is said to be neither team's top choice.

Ramos, 21, has enjoyed a breakout season in Portugal. After scoring eight goals in 46 appearances in the previous campaign, Ramos has replaced Darwin Nunez as Benfica's main man up top and netted 25 goals in 38 games.

He also shone on the world stage, scoring a hat-trick in Portugal's round-of-16 World Cup clash against Switzerland after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, and despite his contract tying him to Benfica until 2026, the club are willing to listen to substantial offers.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA JOIN UNITED IN MAKING RAMOS THEIR BACKUP PLAN

According to Football Insider, Chelsea's top priority up front is Napoli's Victor Osimhen, while United have Tottenham's Harry Kane at the top of their shopping list, but both view Ramos as the ideal consolation prize.

Kane is expected to fetch a fee in the range of £100million, and Osimhen's asking price is even higher, but while Ramos has a £105m release clause in his contract, the report states Benfica will accept bids around £70m (€79m).

Improving Chelsea's chances is the fact Ramos is represented by the same agency as Joao Felix, who is on loan at Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid.

ROUND-UP

– Cadena SER is reporting Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham and would be able to pay him more than any other club.

– After recently making his senior debut for Italy, 23-year-old Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui will make a move to Europe at the end of the season, with Eintracht Frankfurt and Inter showing the most interest, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Football Insider is reporting Newcastle United, Arsenal and Barcelona are all expected to make a run at signing Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic says his decision to leave out Jude Bellingham against RB Leipzig had nothing to do with recent criticism from Emre Can.

Bellingham was named among the substitutes for Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena as Dortmund's DFB-Pokal hopes were ended at the quarter-final stage.

The England's international's omission came a day after Can publicly said his team-mate has "to learn a lot" after regularly letting his emotion get the better of him on the field.

But Terzic confirmed Bellingham was overlooked for a starting spot against Leipzig for fitness reasons, rather than any sort of falling out behind the scenes.

"Jude signalled after the game against [Bayern] Munich that he wasn't 100 per cent fit," Terzic told Sky Germany.

Asked about Can's criticism of Bellingham, Terzic said: "That has nothing to do with the decision."

Only Nico Schlotterbeck (37) has played more times for Dortmund than Bellingham (36) this season, with all but three of the midfielder's appearances being starts.

The 19-year-old, who has been linked with an array of Europe's top clubs, was introduced with an hour played against Leipzig but could not help Dortmund recover.

Will Orban scored in the 98th minute to add to Timo Werner's 22nd-minute opener in a deserved victory for Leipzig, who had 11 shots on target to BVB's one.

Dortmund have exited the DFB-Pokal and Champions League over the past month, while Saturday's 4-2 loss to Bayern saw them replaced at the top of the Bundesliga.

Terzic had no complaints over the loss to Leipzig and accepts his side's campaign is as good as over if they do not learn from their back-to-back defeats.

"It was a catastrophic game in the first half," he said. "It was basically a s*** evening because we did not advance to the next round of a cup we had a good chance of winning.

"It's now a matter of looking ahead. There's still an important competition in which we want to play a big role.

"But if you look at the performance against Leipzig and the performance in Munich, it will be difficult for us if we continue to play like this."

Liverpool are reportedly no longer pursuing Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes and will instead pivot to Brighton and Hove Albion young gun Moises Caicedo or Chelsea and England talent Mason Mount.

The decision to turn their attention away from Nunes comes after Wolves removed a release clause in his contract that would have made him available for £44million in the upcoming transfer window, according to The Mirror.

The report states Wolves will still entertain the possibility of selling Nunes, but will now demand at least £50m for the player they paid £38m for in an August transfer from Sporting CP.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL TURN TO CAICEDO, MOUNT AFTER NUNES REVELATION

With Nunes out of the equation, The Mirror is reporting Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham remains the top priority, but Liverpool will investigate more "realistic" moves for Caicedo or Mount.

Caicedo, 21, signed a new contract with Brighton after the club turned down a £70m offer from Arsenal in January, but according to Football Insider the Seagulls were primarily against letting a top talent leave mid-season and will be far more open to discussions in the off-season.

Mount, 24, now has 15 months remaining on his Chelsea contract and has shown no signs of signing an extension, making him a prime candidate to leave the club in an effort to balance their books after lavish spending in the past 12 months.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are among a host of clubs with interest in the £40million (€45.6m) release clause of 26-year-old Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae, who would prefer a Premier League move if he is to leave Serie A.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal have made an official offer to impending free agent Lionel Messi that would pay him £350m per year.

Lazio are trying to convince star 28-year-old midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to sign a new two-year extension to repel interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Juventus, United and Chelsea, per Football Italia.

– Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg is reporting RB Leipzig and Inter are both pushing to sign breakout 23-year-old Tigre striker Mateo Retegui after the Argentine-born talent made his international debut for Italy recently.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Atletico Madrid have offered 30-year-old striker Alvaro Morata a contract extension as he prepares to enter the final year of his current deal, although the club are willing to sell him if he would prefer a new challenge.

Josko Gvardiol won plenty of admirers during Croatia's run to the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.

The 21-year-old central defender is contracted until 2027, but has a hefty release clause that will become active in 2024.

As a result, clubs are likely to be competing to secure the Croatian's services in the next transfer window.

TOP STORY – CITY AND REAL PRIORITISE GVARDIOL SIGNING

Manchester City and Real Madrid have both made RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol their priority centre-back target for the next transfer window, according to 90min.

The report claims Leipzig wants £75m (€85m) for the Croatian defender, who almost joined Chelsea last off-season.

City and Real are also both in contention to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, complicating the Gvardiol move.

The report also claims City are willing to offload Aymeric Laporte to help facilitate any move.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are the favourites ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount in the off-season, reports Football Insider.

Manchester United are keeping an eye on Joao Felix 's situation with the Atletico Madrid forward currently on loan at Chelsea, claims Mundo Deportivo. Chelsea have been linked with a permanent deal for the Portuguese.

– The Sun claims Leicester City are keen on re-signing Harry Maguire on loan from Manchester United amid talk he will exit Old Trafford.

Arsenal 's desire to land Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus could see the Gunners offer up Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe as part of a deal, reports Calciomercatoweb.

– Fichajes claims Manchester City and Chelsea will battle it out to sign Milan full-back Theo Hernandez.

Barcelona have prioritised a move for Liverpool winger Luis Diaz in the next transfer window, according to Fichajes.

Thomas Tuchel's first game as Bayern Munich coach may have been an impressive 4-2 victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund, but he knows there is work to do.

Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann during the international break, and his first game in the dugout was Saturday's Klassiker against his old club Dortmund, who had won nine of their first 10 league games in 2023 to leave them top of the Bundesliga.

But Bayern leapfrogged them to the summit in style.

Gregor Kobel's error and a Thomas Muller double had the 10-time reigning champions 3-0 up within 23 minutes.

Kingsley Coman made it 4-0 shortly after half-time, and though consolation goals from Emre Can and Donyell Malen somewhat took the shine off their victory, Bayern now look the clear favourites to claim an 11th straight Bundesliga title, with Opta rating it at an 87.7 per cent chance they become champions again.

Despite the great start to his tenure, Tuchel insists there is still much work to do if Bayern are to get where he wants them to be, telling Sky TV: "I was very nervous today. It was a good first step but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

"It was a bit too wild, we wanted to have more dominance. We started very nervously. The whole game was actually too sloppy with too many ball losses.

"We have a lot to analyse. The team is extremely willing to learn. I understand that some things haven't worked out yet. All in all, it was too many turnovers that made life difficult for us. We want to be in possession. 

"It's a bit like a band or an orchestra. We have to find our rhythm."

Nagelsmann's sacking came despite Bayern being in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"Everyone was aware of what was at stake here. A change of coach always brings unrest, there was a lot to absorb," Tuchel added.

"The will to implement everything was there 100 per cent. That's the most important. 

"When we played calmly and clearly, we had top-class chances. We have leaders, and that will give us peace and confidence."

Borussia Dortmund hoped there had been a sign of change. BVB were back on top of the Bundesliga ahead of Der Klassiker and going to rivals Bayern Munich as the league's in-form team, their hosts meanwhile were in self-inflicted turmoil.

Victory at Allianz Arena would be the real statement Dortmund desired in a quest to prove they could end Bayern's domination of not only German football's biggest game, but the Bundesliga in general.

And perhaps Dortmund will still go on to win the title, but Saturday's match suggested that no matter how good BVB are, Bayern's psychological hold over them will take years to overcome.

As Bayern cruised to a 4-2 win, the Bundesliga's title race took another turn.

There had been plenty of talk about confidence from the Dortmund camp coming into the game, with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke managing to perfectly encapsulate Bayern's recent dominance of this fixture when saying they were travelling "to Munich with a lot of self-belief for the first time in a long time".

He was referring to the fact BVB hadn't won at Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga since 2014, when Jurgen Klopp was still in charge, and their run of eight – now nine – successive league losses away to Bayern was their second-worst streak against any club in their top-flight history.

They'd been on the end of some hammerings in that time, too, losing by three or more goals five times.

So, when Dortmund began with genuine promise and swagger on Saturday, there was at least a suggestion Bayern weren't going to have it all their own way.

 

Dortmund were aggressive in their pressing and incisive with their distribution. Marius Wolf's energy down the right looked a potential weapon; Jude Bellingham showed some classy touches; Marco Reus' off-the-ball runs caused Bayern issues.

In fact, had Reus got his shot off a fraction of a second earlier in the seventh minute after Wolf's clever release, he may well have given BVB an early lead – as it was, Matthijs de Ligt got across to make a vital block.

But as predictable as some might have suggested a comfortable Bayern win was, there was nothing inevitable about the moment everything changed on Saturday.

Dayot Upamecano's pass from just inside his own half was seemingly routine for Gregor Kobel, but the goalkeeper took his eye off the ball as he raced out to clear, getting a slight nick on the ball to score arguably the most remarkable own goal of the season.

It's impossible to definitively say if things would've been different without that horror show, but Dortmund ceased to be much of a threat from that point in the 13th minute.

The following 10 minutes saw Bayern build a handsome lead. Thomas Muller was on hand to nudge home from De Ligt's headed flick-on to make it 2-0, and then punished another Kobel mistake with a tap-in when Leroy Sane's long-range strike was only parried.

It was effectively game over inside a quarter of the contest. Dortmund may have been the Bundesliga's form team coming into the weekend, but their first-half collapse had them reverting to type in Der Klassiker.

It wasn't over yet either.

Bayern looked especially potent in the opening half when attacking from the flanks, with Sane and – in particular – Kingsley Coman absolutely devastating at times.

 

Their deployment as inverted wingers was one of few significant alterations to the Bayern setup from Tuchel. It worked a treat almost throughout, and its success was tangible with the fourth goal early in the second half.

Sane cut in from the right, played a perfectly weighted pass towards the back post – through the legs of Muller – and Coman was there to stab home.

No one would have expected wholesale changes from Tuchel. After all, he's only had a couple of days to work with much of the squad following the international window.

But such a subtle yet demonstrably effective tweak perhaps highlights why Bayern were so keen to not miss out on the opportunity to finally hire Tuchel.

Similarly, Bayern were thrilling to watch, and we know just how important that is.

"We've come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad – despite the Bundesliga title last year – has come to the fore less and less often. After the World Cup we have played less successfully and less attractively. The big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future. That is why we have acted now."

Club CEO Oliver Kahn's comments after Julian Nagelsmann's sacking were pretty brutal but offered a lot of clarity to not only the man he'd just fired, but also the one he'd just hired.

 

Dortmund's late consolations via an Emre Can penalty and Donyell Malen's precise finish might be indicative of some of the issues with Bayern's mentality towards the end of Nagelsmann's reign. The 5-3 win over Augsburg comes to mind.

But 4-2 was a scoreline that flattered Dortmund. If anything, Bayern were a little wasteful, and had they checked their runs better, more goals certainly would've arrived.  

In some ways, this win was almost as close to the perfect start as Tuchel could have enjoyed when you consider the reservations Bayern started to have with Nagelsmann.

It will have likely dealt Dortmund a psychological blow, while Bayern find themselves back at the top of the table having produced an entertaining attacking spectacle.

But this wasn't where the title was won and lost – Bayern's shaky post-World Cup form proves Tuchel still has a lot of work to do.

Thomas Tuchel's Bayern Munich tenure started with a resounding 4-2 victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena.

Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann during the international break, and his first game at the helm saw him tasked with shifting his former club Dortmund from top spot in the Bundesliga.

It was a fantastic start for Tuchel on the other side of the Klassiker rivalry, with Gregor Kobel's calamity and Thomas Muller's double putting Bayern 3-0 up inside 23 minutes.

Kingsley Coman nudged Bayern further ahead, though Emre Can's penalty and Donyell Malen's neat finish somewhat reduced the embarrassment for Dortmund, who lost in the league for the first time since November.

Bayern took the lead in bizarre fashion.

Dayot Upamecano's long throughball was seemingly running straight through to Kobel, but Dortmund's goalkeeper opted to try and boot it upfield, only to miscue, inadvertently sending the ball skimming into his own goal.

It was 2-0 just five minutes later, Matthijs de Ligt nodding a corner into the path of Muller, who stabbed home from close range.

Another Kobel blunder gifted Bayern a third – Muller on hand to tuck in the rebound after Leroy Sane's strike had been parried out.

Coman extended the lead in the 50th minute, latching onto Sane's clever pass to sidefoot into the bottom corner, and Dortmund had a reprieve when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's acrobatic finish was disallowed for offside.

Can smashed home a penalty after Jude Bellingham was felled by Serge Gnabry before Malen slotted in, but those goals were merely minor blips in an emphatic Bayern win.

Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are among the heavy hitters with reported interest in out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

Tchouameni arrived in Madrid last July from Monaco for a €100million fee, but has started just 15 of 26 LaLiga fixtures this term, and played only a combined six minutes in their two-legged Champions League clash with Liverpool, whom he reportedly turned down to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defensive midfielder has found himself behind 20-year-old Eduardo Camavinga for Madrid's most crucial contests, also only making brief substitute appearances in both meetings with Barcelona in March.

Tchouameni, who has made 23 senior appearances and scored two international goals for France, still has plenty of time to turn himself into the impact player Madrid envisioned, but the club are reportedly weighing up if they could cash in and use the resources elsewhere.

TOP STORY – EUROPE'S ELITE KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON TCHOUAMENI

According to El Nacional, Madrid are not happy with such an expensive signing only being used sparingly in a rotation role, and will consider any bid in the next transfer window starting at €70m (£61.5m).

The report names Arsenal, United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Chelsea as Tchouameni's "admirers", with the Premier League clubs in particular having all been in the market recently for help in central midfield.

Tchouameni could even cost less than breakout Brighton and Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo, and significantly less than Borussia Dortmund talent Jude Bellingham, adding another key name into the mix for midfielder-hungry clubs this offseason.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are considering a move for Brighton's Caicedo if their pursuit of Bellingham is unsuccessful.

– Football Insider is reporting that Chelsea are hoping to receive £100m in return for midfield duo Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic in an effort to balance the books after lavish spending.

– Chelsea's Kai Havertz has interest in reuniting with former boss Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich, and that interest is mutual according to 90min.

– Fichajes is reporting that Roma may swoop for 32-year-old United goalkeeper David de Gea if he does not sign a new contract to stay in the Premier League.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, PSG have told Lionel Messi they will pay whatever is necessary to retain his services amid heavy interest from Barcelona and Inter Miami.

German football's biggest game will take on extra significance this weekend when Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

Dortmund have mounted a serious challenge to Bayern's sustained Bundesliga dominance this season and lead the defending champions by a point.

Bayern's inability to take control of the title race led to them surprisingly parting ways with Julian Nagelsmann on March 24.

His replacement, a man who has the other side of this storied rivalry, Thomas Tuchel, who was BVB coach from 2015 to 2017.

Tuchel's Dortmund overcame Bayern en route to DFB-Pokal glory in 2017, but the former Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea boss is now immediately under tremendous pressure to deliver victory for Die Roten.

For Dortmund, a win in Bavaria could go a long way to helping Edin Terzic's men seal the title.

But history is firmly against them doing that. With the help of Opta numbers, Stats Perform previews a potential title decider.

Dortmund's Munich misery

Dortmund's 2-2 draw with Bayern in the reverse fixture ended a run of eight consecutive defeats in competitive matches against them.

But the Allianz Arena has become a house of horrors for BVB. Indeed, Dortmund have lost their last eight away games against Bayern in the league.

In Dortmund's Bundesliga history, they have only had one longer losing streak away from home: versus Werder Bremen from 1979 to 1989 (10 matches).

Good omens for BVB

By their lofty standards, Bayern have struggled mightily in 2023.

They have won only five of their 10 Bundesliga games in 2023 (D3 L2) and have 52 points after 25 games.

That is their lowest at this stage of the season since 2011-12, when they had 51 points. The season ended with Dortmund winning the title, Bayern have not failed to do so since.

Since this campaign resumed, Dortmund have claimed a league-high 22 points in eight games. That is a club record for BVB after eight games in the second half of the season. The last time they collected as many points at this stage was the 2011-12 title-winning season under Jurgen Klopp.

The omens are good for Dortmund as they look to end Bayern's reign, but they will need to avoid a repeat of what happened the last time they were top of the Bundesliga in the second half of the season.

Table toppers in trouble?

Dortmund are top of the table for the first time since the second matchday of the 2019-20 season.

Prior to this campaign, they had not been at the summit in the second half of the season since matchday 27 in 2018-19, which saw them thrashed 5-0 by Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

Simply put, Dortmund cannot afford the same outcome this time around if they are to maintain their push to dethrone Bayern.

Thomas Tuchel believes there is a positive energy around Bayern Munich as they begin the season's "weeks of truth" with Saturday's Klassiker against title rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann at the Allianz Arena during the international break, with Bayern trailing BVB by one point and at risk of missing out on an 11th successive Bundesliga title.

The first game of the former Champions League winner's reign pits him against the club he led between 2015 and 2017, winning the DFB-Pokal in his second season at the helm. 

Despite enjoying limited time on the training ground with his new players, Tuchel believes Bayern are raring to go in their hunt for three major trophies.    

"Today was the first training session with everyone. I feel positive energy and great anticipation. We are very aware of the importance of the game," Tuchel said on Friday.

"These are the weeks of truth at FC Bayern and now it's about titles. Normally Bayern can focus a little more on the Champions League at this stage of the season because they already have a lead in the Bundesliga.

"That's not the case this year and that's why every game counts now. When you arrive at Bayern in April and still are in all competitions, you'll be fighting for all three titles. 

"Of course, the quality and performance of the team should be right and should improve, but in the end it's about the titles."

Nagelsmann's exit came amid suggestions all was not right behind the scenes in Munich, but several members of the 35-year-old's backroom team will remain in place under Tuchel.

Denying he had been in contact with Nagelsmann, Tuchel said: "I want to gather my own impressions. 

"Some people went with Nagelsmann and some stayed, but I don't see why working with me shouldn't work. 

"I would like to form my own opinions and then draw my own conclusions from them. But the impressions have been very positive in all departments.

"Eat, sleep, work and repeat are the keywords. It feels like it has been a month's work and I have been pretty tired every day, but it's still good."

Nagelsmann's dismissal came as a surprise to several Bayern players, with midfielder Joshua Kimmich describing him as an "outstanding" coach while on international duty with Germany.

Asked about those comments, Tuchel said: "His disappointment is understandable. It's not a problem to have a close relationship with a coach. 

"Joshua is a player who embodies Bayern. He is a very important player. It's a gift to work with players like that. Most of the time, players' feedback is welcome. 

"Along with Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller, he is a very important player. I didn't feel any reservations [from them]."

Edin Terzic is excited to test himself against Thomas Tuchel when Borussia Dortmund visit Bayern Munich for Saturday's Klassiker, but he is not viewing the game as a Bundesliga title decider.

Dortmund sit one point clear of Bayern at the Bundesliga summit as they bid to deny the Bavarian giants an 11th successive league title.

Amid suggestions of unrest behind the scenes, Bayern opted to make a change in the dugout during the international break, replacing Julian Nagelsmann with former BVB boss Tuchel.

Ahead of welcoming Tuchel back to the Bundesliga, Terzic said competing with the former Champions League-winning coach was evidence he had himself reached the top level.

"What hasn't changed at Bayern is that they have a top coach," Terzic said at Friday's press conference.

"It's a shame with Nagelsmann because he's an absolutely top coach, but we all know how quickly things can change. 

"I'm very happy to welcome Thomas Tuchel and it shows that I work at the top level. Tuchel is not only one of the best coaches, but also one of the most successful."

Tuchel averaged 2.09 points per game during his two-year spell in charge of Dortmund – the best figure managed by any boss in their Bundesliga history.

Dortmund are entering a Bundesliga matchday top of the table for the first time since the second week of the 2019-20 campaign, while the last time they did so during the second half of a season was when they visited Bayern in April 2019.

BVB suffered a chastening 5-0 defeat on that occasion as Bayern went on to be crowned champions, but Terzic does not believe Saturday's game will decide the destination of the title.

"I'm firmly convinced that the championship won't be decided in tomorrow's game, but of course it can point the way," he said.

"We think that we can set an example and we want to prove that we are different than we have been in recent years. 

"We not only respect the task against Bayern, but also the upcoming duels. This is the hot phase of the season."

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