Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose has confirmed Erling Haaland is not fit enough to play a full part in this weekend’s key Klassiker clash with Bayern Munich.
Haaland scored just seven minutes into his comeback from a six-week injury lay-off in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.
That was the Norway striker’s 50th Bundesliga goal, reaching the landmark in just 50 matches and becoming the youngest ever player to do so at 21 years and four months.
However, with just those 17 minutes of football to his name since sustaining a hip injury on October 19, Haaland will not be considered to play the whole game against Bayern.
“Erling himself knows his situation,” Rose said at Friday’s pre-match news conference. “He has had a good week of training behind him.
“But we all know that we have to be careful a little longer. He will certainly not be ready for 90 minutes, so we will have to see how long he can go.”
Haaland has averaged 1.12 goals per 90 minutes played in Germany’s top flight, scoring 40 with his left foot, six with his right and four headers.
Since making his Dortmund bow in January last year, only Robert Lewandowski (70 goals in 56 games) has scored more Bundesliga goals than the ex-Salzburg man.
Indeed, no player in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Bayern striker Lewandowski’s 25.
Despite his continued brilliance in front of goal, Lewandowski finished second to record-extending seven-time winner Lionel Messi at Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Rather than feel sorry for himself, however, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is backing Lewandowski to be extra fired up against Dortmund on Saturday.
“I’ve already said that he’s in great shape and it’s not impossible that he could win this thing again,” Nagelsmann said at his pre-match news conference.
“He can’t change the past. He’s working every day on the present and the future gets created with his work in the present. I think it could be possible that he wins it someday.
“And I’m sure that, when you look at his current numbers without mathematical talent like me, it looks good for this season.
“Therefore, I believe that he can do it and that those who vote will vote for him next year and say that he deserves the Ballon d’Or.
“It is important to accept this disappointment but also to take energy and motivation for other big performances. And I’m confident that he has this drive.”
Against no team has Lewandowski scored more goals in all competitions than against former side Dortmund (24, level with his record against Wolfsburg).
Dortmund have lost their past six competitive matches against Bayern, but they enter this contest with six wins in their previous seven leagues games and are just a point behind Bayern.
Asked how his side go about beating reigning champions and current pacesetters Bayern at Signal Iduna Park, Rose said: “We need to play well in every department.
“I believe that Bayern have a clear structure with the ball and develop a goal risk from it with a lot of force. It is difficult to grasp.
“It will be important to eliminate the offensive quality around Lewandowski and the wingers and to keep Munich out of the penalty area as much as possible.”
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