One of the biggest fixtures on the German footballing calendar takes place on Saturday, although some of the usual gloss has been taken off a game recently baptised Der Klassiker.
Dortmund and Bayern have shared the last five Bundesliga titles between them and Bayern are set to continue their domestic domination this term.
This time, however, the two giant antagonists of the German game meet with 31 points and nine positions separating them in the standings, but that does not mean the stakes are not high.
Dortmund are now only five points from the top six having climbed their way from the foot of the table at the midway stage of the season to 10th, although their coach Klopp insists their league position after the Klassiker is not his biggest concern.
“We’ve got to try to beat Bayern and where that can take us in the league is secondary,” Klopp said.
“Although we’re 10th, and although there’s a huge points gap between us, and although a lot is different compared to the past, it’s still a Borussia Dortmund home game.
“I don’t recall us gifting any of these games in the past.
“Gladbach have shown us how it’s done. Wolfsburg have also beaten them, but it’s not all that easy.”
Victory would nevertheless be important for Dortmund if they are to close the gap on the top six and qualify for Europe next season, while a second consecutive defeat for Bayern is almost unheard of and would allow Wolfsburg to reduce the deficit at the top to seven points.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola says captain Philipp Lahm could come off a lengthy injury list and start the Bundesliga match with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Guardiola says midfielders Franck Ribery (ankle), Arjen Robben (stomach), and Javi Martinez (knee), and defender David Alaba (knee) are all out.
He is not yet sure about defender Holger Badstuber (hip), while midfielder Thiago Alcantara could play “maybe a few minutes” as he recovers from long-standing knee injuries.
Lahm has made only two substitute appearances for Bayern since breaking his ankle in training on Nov. 18, and Guardiola warned that the whole team has to work together to compensate for missing players.
“It’s football, it’s life. I trust my players, I’ve a lot of trust. We can manage it with the squad we have,” Guardiola said.