BERLIN - New Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel needs a successful start after joining the German champions last week with his former team, Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, in town for Der Klassiker on Saturday.
With the match being broadcast to 200 territories globally, all eyes will be on the former Paris St Germain and Chelsea coach who took over after Julian Nagelsmann's shock sacking days after Bayern's 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen on March 19.
How to watch Bayern vs Dortmund 2023 Der Klassiker in USA
Date: Saturday, April 1 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET | Location: Allianz Arena (Munich)
TV: ESPN Deportes | Streaming: ESPN+, WatchESPN, Fubo TV
Known for his tactical abilities and versatile game plans, the 49-year-old Tuchel is not expected to make too many changes to Nagelsmann's team with a lot at stake on Saturday. Dortmund are top on 53 points, one ahead of Bayern after 25 games, in what looks like a two-horse race for the title, with nine rounds of matches left. Union Berlin are third on 48.
Another Der Klassiker with massive stakes pic.twitter.com/9giWzLOPUG— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2023
"This is not the time for major changes in the system or tactics of Bayern," Tuchel said on arriving in the international break, knowing he would have just a handful of training sessions with the entire squad before facing in-form Dortmund.
"Now less is more. I have ideas but we will have to wait. Feedback from players is part of it," he said.
Tuchel, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, left Dortmund on bad terms after two seasons only days after winning the German Cup in 2017, having failed to break Bayern's stranglehold on the league. He now has the task of stretching that winning run for Bayern by making it a record-extending 11 straight league crowns, and a win over Dortmund is key at this stage.
Defeat at home in his opening match for Bayern would add considerable fuel to the fans' discontent following their surprise over the departure of Nagelsmann. Some Bayern players have also expressed shock over the managerial change, having developed a good rapport with Tuchel's predecessor.
"Obviously not all players will be super happy," Tuchel said. "But that is normal. It is a big overhaul when the head coach leaves."
Tuchel will be happy with the likely return of midfielder Jamal Musiala, who was back in training this week after a minor injury ruled him out of Germany's two friendly internationals in the past week.
For Dortmund, a win over Tuchel's new team in Munich would be sweet, with the coach having left the Ruhr valley side after a breakdown in communications with club bosses and with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke later labelling him a "difficult person."
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)