Borussia Dortmund issued Bundesliga title warning ahead of Bayern Munich grudge matchby Neil McLeman, https://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/neil-mcleman/
Paul Lambert has claimed his Borussia Dortmund have to win the biggest grudge match in German football on Tuesday night to stay in the Bundesliga title race.
The Scot insists Der Klassiker clash between his former club and Bayern Munich rivals the Old Firm clash for intensity.
The two German clubs not only hail from the historic warring states of Bavaria and Prussia, they also have conflicting images with Dortmund traditionally a working-class club against the glamorous Munich outfit nicknamed FC Hollywood.
The rivalry has become the biggest in the Bundesliga this century with the two clubs meeting in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley.
And now Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are the top two fighting out this year's title.
Defending champions sit four points clear at the top and Lambert admitted: “Dortmund have to win, that is apparent. Bayern Munich can still afford to lose. That is the big thing. They will still be a point ahead if they lose but Dortmund will be on their coat tails if they win.
“I think Dortmund will go for them - I don’t think they can play another way. The only thing missing is the intensity from the crowd.
"When you play in front of that crowd, that gives you another yard. The size of it and the volume of it. But Borussia Dortmund won't sit off them, that’s for sure. If Dortmund can play as well as they can, they can get the result.”
Big names like Lambert - who won the 1997 Champions League with Dortmund - Jurgen Klopp, Lothar Matthaus and Oliver Kahn have been now been replaced by Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.
But the fierce competition remains.
“The rivalry is really really big there,” said the Ipswich manager. “In my time there, two great sides were playing against each other.
"Dortmund at that time were a working class city and the crowd wanted you to run and run and run. All great clubs, who've won a lot of trophies, have that touch of arrogance with them. Bayern know they're a good team, they know they're a good club.
“When you compare it to the Old Firm game, the intensity of both games is of the highest order. I never knew which was bigger.
"The rivalry between both sets of fans was huge and that will never, ever change. Celtic and Rangers has a different accent to it and I think Dortmund and Schalke is very high, but this is never, ever going to be matched.”
Dortmund started this season with a 2-0 win over Bayern in the German Super Cup but Hansi Flick won his first Bundesliga match in charge against them in November.
BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said: ”The two best teams will play against each other. You don't need to be a prophet: if we want to continue to compete for the title, we have to win this game.”
BT Sport is the home of the Bundesliga, with Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich exclusively live on Tuesday.
Tune in on BT Sport 1, from 5pm, for the Der Klassiker and top of the table clash.
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