The Scot insists on the clash between Der Klassiker between his former club and Bayern Munich rivals the Old Firm clash for intensity.
The two German clubs are not only from the historic belligerent states of Bavaria and Prussia, they also have contradictory images with Dortmund, traditionally a workers’ club against the glamor of Munich nicknamed FC Hollywood.
The rivalry has become the most important in the Bundesliga this century with the two clubs meeting in the final of the 2013 Champions League at Wembley.
And now Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are the first two to compete for this year’s title.
The defending champions are four points from the top and Lambert admitted: “Dortmund must win, that’s obvious. Bayern Munich can still afford to lose. That’s the big thing. They will always have a point ahead if they lose, but Dortmund will be on their tail if they win.
“I think Dortmund will go for them – I don’t think they can play any other way. The only thing missing is the intensity of the crowd.
“When you play in front of this crowd, it gives you another site. The size and volume of it. But Borussia Dortmund won’t let them down, that’s for sure. If Dortmund can play as well as they can, they can get the result. ”
Big names like Lambert – who won the 1997 Champions League with Dortmund – Jurgen Klopp, Lothar Matthaus and Oliver Kahn are now replaced by Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.
But the fierce competition remains.
“The rivalry is really great there,” said the Ipswich manager. “During my stay there, two big teams played against each other.
“Dortmund at that time was a working class city and the crowd wanted you to run and run and run. All the big clubs, which have won a lot of trophies, have that touch of arrogance with them. Bayern know they are a good team, they know they are a good club.
“When you compare it to the Old Firm game, the intensity of both games is of the highest level. I never knew what was bigger.
“The rivalry between the two fan groups was huge and it will never change. Celtic and Rangers have a different accent and I think Dortmund and Schalke are very high, but it will never, never be equaled. “
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Dortmund started this season with a 2-0 victory over Bayern in the German Super Cup, but Hansi Flick won his first Bundesliga game against him in November.
BVB sports director Michael Zorc said: “The top two teams will compete. You don’t have to be a prophet: if we are to continue to compete for the title, we must win this game. “
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