Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel says that the 'madness' Dortmund's young players can bring to the game could be enough to get the better of a more experienced Bayern side in Der Klassiker clash this weekend.
Dortmund go into the match in red-hot form, sitting top of both the Bundesliga and their Champions League group - four points ahead of third-placed Bayern in the former - and the likes of Jadon Sancho, Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou, among a host of young stars, have been central to Dortmund's success so far.
Kylian Mbappé is the only teenager to have directly contributed to more goals in a top five European league this season than Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson.— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) November 3, 2018
🏴 Jadon Sancho
• 4 goals
• 6 assists
🏴 Reiss Nelson
• 5 goals
• 0 assists
Bundesliga buddies. pic.twitter.com/c5jVBcLqFQ
It's this youthful unpredictability that 29-year-old Witsel hopes Dortmund can channel to guide them to victory over their more street-wise title rivals.
"They know what it is to win titles almost every year. They're much more experienced than we are right now. Their players are older and still have a lot of quality, like Franck Ribery for instance. His career is closer to its end than its beginning, but he's still playing at a very high level.
"So Bayern are ahead of us, both in terms of experience and dealing with pressure. But our young players are able to bring some madness into our game, and this madness can create amazing things on the pitch."
The idea that Dortmund can win on Saturday is a sentiment echoed by many, including, surprisingly, Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who goes a few steps further and claims that his side are the "underdogs" going into the crucial Bundesliga fixture.
"You can't go to Dortmund and say that you want to secure three points. Dortmund have had a very good season so far, no doubt about it," he said.
"We do not go to Dortmund as favourites, but as underdogs – for the first time in a long time."