8 of the Most Iconic Derbies in World Football

On Saturday, two of the fiercest rivals in world football will meet in a Superclásico to end all Superclásicos as Boca Juniors and River Plate do battle in the first of two legs in the Copa Libertadores final.

Ahead of this monumental clash, we run through some of the most iconic derbies in the footballing world.

8. Boca Juniors vs River Plate

If you subscribe to the notion that football is ‘just a game’, may we suggest you take a couple of hours out of your busy schedules to witness the war that inevitably transpires when these two historic teams meet?

Aptly dubbed the Superclásico, this is the fixture that puts a nation on hold. With 70% of Argentinian football fans pledging their allegiance to one of these sides, when they face each other on the football field, a nationwide hiatus ensues.

The last time these Buenos Aires rivals faced each other in this competition, four of River Plate’s players were hospitalised as a Boca fan made his way into the tunnel and used pepper spray to attack rival players. After such events, away fans have been banned from attending the two-legged Copa Libertadores final.

What makes this rivalry even more interesting is after their last 38 meetings, Boca Juniors have won 13, River Plate have won 13 and 12 have ended in draws. 

In addition, Saturday’s game will be the first time in their history that these two sides have played each other in a competitive final!

7. Barcelona vs Real Madrid

In Europe’s answer to the Superclásico, El Clásico features two of world football’s most decorated club sides. 

Barcelona and Real Madrid have enjoyed a shared domination of Spanish football in recent years. In fact, 11 of the last 14 seasons in La Liga have finished with Barcelona and Real Madrid taking first and second place in the table.

Unlike in the South American equivalent, El Clásico is normally about what happens on the pitch. 

Some of the world’s greatest ever players have done battle in this famous fixture from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, to Ronaldinho and Raul.

6. Celtic vs Rangers

Old Firm derbies have been few and far between in recent years after Rangers’ went into liquidation and dropped down to the Third Division. However, with Steven Gerrard’s side back in the top flight, Scottish football fans are guaranteed at least two derbies a year for the foreseeable future.

As a result of Rangers’ demise, Celtic have almost exclusively dominated Scottish football in recent times. The Bhoys have won the last seven league titles and Rangers won three in a row before that. In fact, since the 1985/86 season, either Celtic or Rangers have won the Scottish Premiership title each year, highlighting just how dominant these two sides have been.

However the Old Firm derby goes far beyond what happens on the football pitch, often spilling out into politics and religion.

5. AC Milan vs Inter

Much like the rivalry a younger sibling has for his elder brother or sister, this particular conflict occurs in the same house. 

Since 1947, these Milanese rivals have both played their home games at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as San Siro.

In modern times, Juventus have been the dominant force in Italian football, winning the last seven Scudetti. However, before this, Inter and AC Milan captivated football fans across the continent, with their ground-breaking style of play and mesmerising individual talents. 

While not as feisty as some other Italian derbies, the rivalry between Milan’s two giants (known as the Derby della Madonnina) is further intensified as many of the best players to ever line up in the blue and black of Inter, have also donned the red and black of AC. This includes legendary figures include Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Clarence Seedorf.

4. Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund

Der Klassiker has been the biggest rivalry in modern German football. Make no mistake, unlike the Milan derby or Superclásico, these teams are not rivals because they share the same stadium, or even the same city. In fact, the cities of Dortmund and Munich sit over 600km apart!

The rivalry reached boiling point in the 2010/11 season when with Jurgen Klopp at the helm, Borussia Dortmund finally became the team that put an end to Bayern Munich’s domestic dominance. Dortmund won back-to-back league titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and added the DFB-Pokal in the latter season as well. 

The stage was set, then, in 2013, for a Champions League final for the ages. The flashy and electrifying Dortmund had earned themselves a Champions League final date at Wembley with arch rivals Bayern Munich. However, the experience of Bayern told and Dortmund failed to capitalise, as Bayern reasserted their dominance on German football.

3. Manchester United vs Manchester City

Arguably the biggest rivalry in England, the Manchester derby sees two of the Premier League’s best sides go head to head. Never short of late drama, these two sides seem to produce a Premier League classic every time they do battle.

United have dominated City in the Premier League era, but City have done something to change that of late. 

In the 2011/12 season when, with the title all but in United’s hands, Sergio Aguero scored in the 94th minute of the final game to snatch the title from their rivals – City’s first for 45 years. 

Since then, City have exerted their dominance over the Red Devils, finishing above them in all but one of the following seasons.

2. Arsenal vs Spurs

The north London derby has produced some of the greatest games in the Premier League era. From David Bentley’s 40-yarder in a 4-4 at the Emirates, to Arsenal clinching the title at White Hart Lane. For the neutrals, this is one for the diaries.

For years, Tottenham supporters dreaded derby day, such was the dominance Arsenal had over them. In fact, from 2000, to early 2008, Spurs and Arsenal played each other 21 times and Tottenham failed to win a single one of those games. It wasn’t until the sides faced each other in the League Cup semi-final later that year that Spurs bucked the trend as they trounced their rivals 5-1 on their way to lifting the trophy.

1. Liverpool vs Everton

In this astonishingly unique derby, not only do Liverpool and Everton share a city, they nigh on share a street. Their stadiums sit just 1.2 miles away from each other across Stanley Park, as the two sides battle for Merseyside supremacy.

In the Premier League era, Everton have finished above their neighbours just three times, with the bragging rights so regularly falling to the red half of the city. 

The Toffees haven’t celebrated a derby day win since 2010 as Liverpool continue to be the powerhouse of the Mersey. 

While known as the friendly derby, no Premier League fixture has produced more red cards than Liverpool vs Everton.

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4 Key Battles That Could Decide This Saturday’s Der Klassiker Clash Between Dortmund & Bayern Munich

On Saturday, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will face off in Der Klassiker, Germany’s most famous heavyweight clash.

Both teams will be looking for three points, as well as bragging rights, when they face off at Signal Iduna Park.

Dortmund are currently sitting top of the Bundesliga, unbeaten after ten games. Bayern, meanwhile, sit in third place, four points off Die Schwarzgelben. They were in the midst of a crisis however, with Niko Kovac failing to assert the usual dominance that Die Roten have come to expect in recent years.

Lucien Favre’s side will feel they have a great chance to get one over on their rivals in what promises to be a fabulous match. Here are four key battles that prove to be decisive in determining the outcome of the three points.

1. Achraf Hakimi vs Robert Lewandowski

Since joining BVB on loan from Real Madrid, Hakimi has greatly improved Dortmund’s defence quality. The 20-year-old Moroccan already has a vast amount of experience, having played in the Champions League and World Cup.

On Saturday he will face one of the best strikers in the world – Robert Lewandowski. The Polish talisman returns to Signal Iduna Park after leaving four years ago, and since then, has become somewhat of a Bayern legend. This season alone, he has scored 13 goals in 15 games.

This battle will be interesting because we will see how the inexperienced Hakimi deals with the nouse and know how of Lewandowski, who is 10 years older than him. The Polish talisman’s movement and power could prove crucial in swinging the pendulum Bayern’s way.  

2. Paco Alcacer vs Niklas Süle

From one prolific striker to another, Paco Alcacer will be looking to improve on his fantastic start to the season. Another loanee at Dortmund, the Barcelona man has eight goals in seven games, with an injury preventing him from making further appearances.

Bayern central defender Niklas Süle is his most likely adversary on Saturday, and although he too is also relatively young, he already looks at ease alongside either Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng in the Bundesliga champions’ defence.

He’ll face a tough challenge against an in-form Alcacer though – and their duel should provide an interesting spectacle.

3. Jadon Sancho vs David Alaba

In another face-off between youth and experience, David Alaba will be dealing with a young Englishman who has lit up the Bundesliga. 

Jadon Sancho is rapidly developing into one of the most exciting talents in world football, and he already has four goals and six assists to his name this season – despite finding himself limited mainly to brief cameo appearances.

Alaba on the other hand has been at Bayern since 2008, emerging from Bayern’s youth system to win six consecutive league titles. He won’t face many trickier tests this season though, with this particular battle perhaps the most eye catching.

4. Axel Witsel vs James Rodríguez

Two contrasting midfielders complete our set of key battles, as Axel Witsel prepares to face off James Rodriguez.

Since signing for Dortmund from Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg, Witsel has been outstanding. Playing in a two-man defensive midfield, he is the heartbeat of everything BVB do – breaking up attacks before feeding the ball onto the team’s more creative outlets.

He faces the ultimate test of his defensive skills this weekend, with Bayern’s Rodriguez likely to test his extensive repertoire of qualities. The Colombian fashions chances with his sublime touch and ability on the ball, and he’ll look to exploit any space he may be afforded in central affairs. Closing him down will be vital if Witsel is to come out on top in this one.

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Picking The Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup To Face Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday

Bayern Munich face a difficult trip on Saturday when they travel to Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.

Die Roten will look to continue their winning ways, coming into this huge fixture off the back of a 2-0 win over AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday. Niko Kovac’s debut season hasn’t gone to plan however, and Bayern currently sit third in the table, four points off the pace.

Here, we take a look at Bayern’s possible lineup for Saturday’s huge game – which features a couple of former Borussia Dortmund stars..

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Manuel Neuer (GK) – After an injury-plagued season last year, Neuer is back in goal for Bayern. The German has played every game this season, keeping seven clean sheets in the process. Although he is now 32-years-old, he remains one of the world’s best.

Joshua Kimmich (RB) – Another young German prospect, Kimmich has played every game this season for Bayern. The successor of Bayern legend Phillip Lahm, Kimmich is already an established regular in the Bayern defence, and looks likely to keep his place for years to come.

Mats Hummels (CB) – Hummels may not have played every single game this season, but he has impressed when on the field. A solid defender, Hummels has even got two goals to his name, when he scored against Ajax and Wolfsburg.

Niklas Süle (CB) – The young German has established his place at the heart of Bayern’s defence, and looks certain to play at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

David Alaba (LB) – Bayern’s ever-present left-back will play against Dortmund on Saturday barring any last minute niggles, looking to build on his strong start to the season.  

2. Midfielders

Javi Martinez (DM) – Playing as Bayern’s sole defensive midfielder this season, Martinez has been key to their strong results so far. Although he is 30, the Spaniard is putting in great performances week in week out for Die Roten.

Leon Goretzka (CM) – Bayern signed Goretzka for free this summer, and he’s proving to be every good as they might have hoped. He is a regular in the team and looks destined to keep his place.

James Rodríguez (CM) – Rodriguez has been fantastic for Bayern this season, registering three goals and two assists. Since moving on loan to Bayern, he has been an influential member of the team – and will likely start once more.

3. Forward

Arjen Robben (RW) – Despite being 34 years old, Robben is still at the very top of his game. Three goals and two assists is a decent return so far this season, and the Dutchman will be looking for more against Bayern’s main title rivals.

Robert Lewandowski (ST) – The Polish striker has been fantastic this season, scoring an incredible 13 goals in 15 games. Lewandowski comes into this fixture fresh from scoring his 48th and 49th Champions League goals., and will now pit his wits against his former club.

Serge Gnabry (LW) – After leaving Arsenal in 2016, Gnabry has flourished in the Bundesliga. Enjoying successful spells, first with Werder Bremen, and then on loan at Hoffenheim, the winger is now firing on all cylinders for Bayern down the left hand flank. He has made 14 appearances so far this season and will look to run out Dortmund’s back line if given the chance.

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Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich Preview: How to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Borussia Dortmund welcome ?Bayern Munich to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, as the two sides face off in the 120th edition of Der Klassiker.

The league leaders prepare to host the reigning champions in what promises to be a mouth-watering tie, with the teams separated by four points at the top of the ?Bundesliga.

The Schwarzgelben are top of the league after a fantastic unbeaten run. However they fell to their first defeat of the season on Wednesday, ?losing 2-0 to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Meanwhile ?Bayern beat AEK Athens 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, almost securing qualification to the next round of the Champions League in the process. Die Roten sit third in the table, after having won six successive Bundesliga titles.

Check out our preview for Der Klassiker below.


How to Watch 

?

When Is Kick Off?  Saturday 10 November                                     
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Signal Iduna Park
TV Channel/Live Stream?                                 BT Sport 2  
Referee? TBC

Team News

Abdou Diallo is a concern due to fitness, so is unlikely to play on Saturday. ?Dortmund’s only confirmed absentee is Marcel Schmelzer, who has been out with a knee injury since September.

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Nuernberg - Bundesliga

?Bayern travel to Signal Iduna Park without three players, all sidelined through injury. Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman both have ankle injuries, while Corentin Tolisso is out due to a knee injury.


Predicted Lineups

?Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Bürki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Hakimi; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, ?Reus, Bruun Larsen; Alcacer
?Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1): ??Neuer; Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez; Robben, Goretzka, ?James, Gnabry; Lewandowski

Head to Head Record

There have been 119 competitive meetings between Dortmund and Bayern, ranging from league fixtures to Champions League finals. Bayern have the better record with 56 wins against the Schwarzgelben, who only have 30 wins to their name.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

Dortmund have won just one of their last eight league meetings with Bayern, when they won 1-0 in November 2016. Bayern have had the better of them for years, including an emphatic 6-0 win in their last meeting at the Allianz Arena.

We can also expect goals in Saturday’s meeting, as there has been just one goalless draw in the last 21 league fixtures between the two sides.


Recent Form

Dortmund’s unbeaten run came to an end in Madrid on Wednesday, as Atletico defeated them 2-0. However, they are still yet to lose in the Bundesliga, having won seven and drawn three.

FC Bayern Muenchen v AEK Athens - UEFA Champions League Group E

Bayern travel to Signal Iduna Park unbeaten in five, including two Champions League victories over AEK Athens. They recovered from back-to-back league defeats with back-to-back league wins, moving them up to third in the Bundesliga.

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures.

?Borussia Dortmund ?Bayern Munich
?Atletico Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (6/11)  ?Bayern Munich 2-0 AEK Athens (7/11)
?Wolfsburg 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (3/11) ?Bayern Munich 1-1 Freiburg (3/11)
?Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Hertha Berlin (27/10) ?Mainz 1-2 Bayern Munich (27/10)
?Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Atletico Madrid (24/10) ?AEK Athens 0-2 Bayern Munich (23/10)          
?Stuttgart 0-4 Borussia Dortmund (20/10) ?Wolfsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich (20/10)

Prediction

With both teams eager to get the better of their arch rivals and gain a massive three points, Der Klassiker promises to live up to its title.

VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

Dortmund will look to continue their unbeaten run, and extend their lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile Bayern will be looking to close the gap on BVB, and fight to return to the top spot for the first time since September.

It will be a very tight affair at Signal Iduna Park, but Dortmund look likely to extend their fantastic start to the Bundesliga, and defeat their arch nemesis in the biggest game of the season. There is so much at stake on Saturday – roll on Der Klassiker.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Bayern Munich

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Axel Witsel Suggests Borussia Dortmund ‘Madness’ Could Be Enough to Beat Bayern Munich on Saturday

?Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel says that the ‘madness’ Dortmund’s young players can bring to the game could be enough to get the better of a more experienced Bayern side in Der Klassiker clash this weekend. 

Dortmund go into the match in red-hot form, sitting top of both the Bundesliga and their Champions League group – four points ahead of third-placed Bayern in the former – and the likes of Jadon Sancho, Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou, among a host of young stars, have been central to Dortmund’s success so far. 

It’s this youthful unpredictability that 29-year-old Witsel hopes ?Dortmund can channel to guide them to victory over their more street-wise title rivals.

“?Bayern are used to dominating the league and performing well in the Champions League,” he told ?Bundesliga.com.  

“They know what it is to win titles almost every year. They’re much more experienced than we are right now. Their players are older and still have a lot of quality, like Franck Ribery for instance. His career is closer to its end than its beginning, but he’s still playing at a very high level. 


So Bayern are ahead of us, both in terms of experience and dealing with pressure. But our young players are able to bring some madness into our game, and this madness can create amazing things on the pitch.”

The idea that Dortmund can win on Saturday is a sentiment echoed by many, including, surprisingly, ?Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who goes a few steps further and claims that his side are the “underdogs” going into the crucial ?Bundesliga fixture.

“You can’t go to Dortmund and say that you want to secure three points. Dortmund have had a very good season so far, no doubt about it,” he said.


“We do not go to Dortmund as favourites, but as underdogs – for the first time in a long time.”

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