The two most feared strikers in Europe head-on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Erling Haaland is obsessed with success
Erling Haaland is “almost possessed with success,” but comparing him to Robert Lewandowski is pointless, according to Michael Zorc. The two most feared strikers in Europe head-on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Lewandowski was the top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues last season, hitting 51 goals to propel Bayern Munich to triumph in treble and he set a Bundesliga record with ten goals in his first five games 2020-21. Haaland, meanwhile, has managed five goals in the same number of Bundesliga appearances this time frame from a total of 15 shots. That puts the Dortmund forward’s shot conversion rate at 29.4, slightly behind Lewandowski’s 34.5, but he scored 66.7 per cent of his certified big chances for that time, better than Lewandowski’s 58.3.
The Norwegian is good because he exudes the will to improve all the time
Haaland is 12-years Lewandowski’s junior and Dortmund sporting director Zorc thinks it’s too early to compare the two. However, the 20-year-old’s determination to do well looks set to see him reach similar standards. “They are different styles of players. Both score a lot of goals, but they have a different age,” Zorc told reporters. “We’re glad we have Erling. Not only is he good for us because of his goals, but also because he exudes the will to improve all the time. He is almost obsessed with success. Comparisons for journalists and experts, not for us.” Head coach Lucien Favre believes Haaland is essential in terms of not conceding goals, not just scoring. BVB conceded 44 Bundesliga goals in Favre’s first season under management, which improved to 41 in 2019-20. They also held 15 clean sheets on the last date, up from 10 this campaign before.
BVB lost their last home game because of a blatantly bad decision
“We were fine in the first year, we didn’t concede a lot of goals in the first half of the campaign, but now we’re doing better,” Favre said. “The crucial thing is that we all protect. The team must defend together – that starts with the striker. The whole team must do that.” Bayern Munich have won all three competitive games against BVB under Hansi Flick, including the DFL-Supercup in September when they won 3-2. They effectively ended Dortmund’s title hopes on May 1-0 with a win at Signal Iduna Park, thanks to a sublime chip by Joshua Kimmich. Still, BVB were outraged by Haaland and was not awarded a penalty when a shot struck Jerome Boateng’s arm in the box.
“I think the attraction is always very high. We saw that the last two games were close, and only one goal settled both,” Zorc said. “We lost our last home game because of a blatantly bad decision. There’s no doubt about that. We have confidence, and we want to throw everything into the mix to win tomorrow.”