Bayern Munich vs. Dortmund: When Pep Guardiola met Thomas Tuchel

    Story highlights

    • Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich play second place Borussia Dortmund
    • Bayern hold four-point lead over Dortmund
    • Thomas Tuchel succeeded Jurgen Klopp as Dortmund coach
    • Bayern hold 100% record in league, cup and Champions League this season

    (CNN)Last December, the Bavarian bar Schumanns became the unlikely location for a meeting between two of football's mightiest minds.

    A favored haunt of Bayern Munich players, it was here that the team's coach Pep Guardiola sat with Thomas Tuchel, who was taking a year-long break from his own fledgling managerial career.
      So engrossed were the two that the waiting staff dared not interrupt an their intense three-hour discussion as salt and pepper pots were shifted across the table, with each man offering his own view on the beautiful game.
      At the time, Tuchel was on a sabbatical after a successful five-year stint coaching Mainz. On Sunday, the two will be in opposing dugouts as Bayern welcome Borussia Dortmund -- a fixture known in Germany as "Der Klassiker."
      Seven matches into the new season, reigning German champions Bayern hold a four-point lead over second-place Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.
      Under former coach Jurgen Klopp, Dortmund provided a real challenge to Bayern's traditional dominance of Germany's top flight, winning the title in 2011 and 2012, while finishing up runners-up to the Bavarian club in 2013 and 2014.
      However, last season Dortmund's form nosedived -- the club even flirted with relegation -- before four consecutive wins in February helped propel Klopp's side to Europa League qualification.
      But that topsy-turvy campaign was enough to prompt Klopp to take his own sabbatical.
      Klopp's successor Tuchel has made quite an impact since taking over, guiding Dortmund to 11 successive wins across three competitions, though "The Black and Yellows" have slightly faltered of late drawing their last two league games.
      Even Sunday's 2-2 draw had the silver lining in that Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice, becoming the only player in Bundesliga history to score in the first seven matches of the season.
      Coaching passion
      Tuchel was never a top player. A talented defender, he played just a handful of matches in Germany's second division and around 50 third-tier games, before his playing career was cut short by injury at the age of 25.
      Although he graduated with a diploma in business economics, Tuchel quickly realized that his passion lay in coaching.