Haaland vs Lewandowski: Young pretender against Europe’s elite face off as Dortmund play Bayern.. but who’s more lethal? – The Sun

IT'S the biggest, or indeed in these times, the only show in town tonight as Borussia Dortmund host a mouthwatering clash with Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park.

Der Klassiker, always Germany's most highly-anticipated match, comes with its usual great significance tonight as the home side look to cut the gap at the top to just one point going into the final six games of the season.

There won't be a crowd tonight in Westphalia, but the match will still be brimming with intrigue and subplots.

And one of these such subplots will come in the form of the two team's strikers facing off for the first time.

Master marksman Robert Lewandowski will go head-to-head with teenage upstart Erling Haaland – with the duo almost indisputably the Bundesliga's two best strikers.

Recent talk has been dominated by Lewandowski's chase for Gerd Muller's record for most goals in a single Bundesliga campaign, with his current tally 13 behind the great German's 40.

Tonight though, the 31-year-old will be solely focused on outscoring his 19-year-old opposite number in yellow and black.

Could it already be legitimately claimed that Haaland is better than Lewandowski? We take a dive into the numbers to find out.


Lewandowski has built a remarkable body of work over the last decade, but to be fair to his young whippersnapper in opposition, we are only going to examine their numbers since Haaland debuted for BVB in January.

The Norwegian made a ridiculous start to life in Germany, scoring seven goals in his first 136 minutes for Lucien Favre's side – that's a rate of around a goal every 19 minutes.

While one goal in his last four league matches virtually constitutes something of a goal-drought by his standards, Haaland stands tall at 13 goals in 13 games so far for BVB.

Amazingly though, Lewandowski can virtually match him stride-for-stride over this period.

The Pole has scored 11 goals in ten appearances since Haaland's debut – missing two games in that time because of a shin injury.

In terms of minutes-per-goal, Haaland edges it, notching every 70 minutes – while Lewandowski has taken 81 between strikes on average.

VERDICT: Haaland (just)


While both players are most dangerous as goalscorers themselves, as modern strikers they certainly aren't averse to contributing to other phases of play.

Lewandowski possesses elite link-up skills, so often seeming to make the correct decision – possessing the intelligence to match his startling talents.

Haaland's first thought, meanwhile, always seems to be making aggressive runs into the penalty area – although he too contributes to other aspects of his side's play.

The pair post similar numbers when it comes to creativity, with Haaland having contributed two assists compared to Lewandowski's three.

In terms of chances created, it's again a close-run contest – with BVB's No17 laying on 11, compared to Bayern's No9's 13.

VERDICT: Lewandowski (just)


Both teams are associated with playing attractive, quick, pressing football.

Borussia Dortmund in particular like to launch devastating counter-attacks – while Bayern can hit you in so many different ways.

Sometimes, however, your centre-forward just has to make it stick.

Both men can certainly handle themselves physically, with Haaland possessing a particularly brutish frame at 6ft 4in.

But it is Lewandowski, the shorter man by four inches, that bosses more of his duels.

He wins 51 per cent of them, in fact – compared to Haaland's 39 per cent.

In this regard, experience and savvy trumps youthful exuberance.

VERDICT: Lewandowski


Both teams, being one and two in the table, tend to get a lot of opportunities to score.

But in those crucial moments at the highest level, playing for the biggest prizes, which of these two would you rather have a chance fall to?

Instinct would say the more battle-hardened Lewandowski…

But the numbers, so far, would suggest Haaland.

Lewandowski has converted 25.6 per cent of his attempts on goal since his opponent signed for BVB.

While Haaland, on the other hand, has scored an extremely healthy 46 per cent of his shots on goal.

VERDICT: Haaland


Even in this small sample size, it's simply too close to call.

Haaland has edged his opponent on goalscoring, but only just – and largely fuelled by his astonishing first three appearances as more of an unknown quantity to Bundesliga defenders.

Lewandowski, meanwhile, is the slightly more creative of the two and also the one more likely to make it stick upfront.

VERDICT: Too close to call, let's find out tonight

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