Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
A mainstay of those brilliant Jurgen Klopp teams, the Germany international knows exactly what a fully functioning Dortmund at peak form looks like – pace, drive and scintillating attacking play from a team at one with the fanatic support of Signal Iduna Park's "Yellow Wall".
"I've talked to a few people about it already, it is reminiscent of the early Kloppo years," the centre-back told reporters, reflecting on a flying start that sees BVB top of the table and unbeaten in 10 Bundesliga games.
"Maybe not everyone in our team, but I enjoy watching Dortmund games."
Hummels' enjoyment aside, it is a long time since Bayern have had reason to enter a Klassiker with such trepidation.
1 - For the first time since MD30 of the 2011-12 season, @BlackYellow are above Bayern in the table when they meet in the #Bundesliga - Dortmund went on to win the title that year. Era. pic.twitter.com/hWK5U78KAs— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) November 3, 2018
Sancho the shining light for Dortmund
When Niko Kovac's Bayern arrive in Dortmund on Saturday, their chances of emerging with a positive result may depend upon how effectively they can shackle one of the brightest young talents in Europe.
Jadon Sancho's decision to turn his back on Manchester City last year raised some eyebrows, but the Englishman's bold ambition has been rewarded. He is the new darling of the BVB faithful and a full international.
The 18-year-old's transformation from super-sub to first-team mainstay is continuing at a rapid rate and only Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt can boast more than Sancho's 10 goal involvements in the Bundesliga this season (four goals, six assists).
An inventive dribbler with an eye for the killer pass, Sancho is a relentless performer who averages 41 sprints per 90 minutes. Bayern left-back David Alaba will know he has been in a game.
The BVB kids are alright
Sancho is not the only source of youthful exuberance and ingenuity. Like in the Klopp years, it courses through Lucien Favre's side.
Christian Pulisic is not starting as much as he might like due to Sancho's emergence, but the 20-year-old United States star is an attacker with mercurial ability.
Jacob Bruun Larsen is another 20-year-old wideman who is flourishing after spending an injury-ruined season at Stuttgart, while acquired loanee Achraf Hakimi is building on his initial promise at Real Madrid and has weighed in with a trio of assists from full-back.
Favre's team are not just about fresh-faced players tearing forward. Centre-backs Abdou Diallo and Dan-Axel Zagadou have a combined age of 41. Only RB Leipzig (nine) have conceded fewer Bundesliga goals than Dortmund's 10 and BVB's bookings (nine) and fouls conceded (80) mark league lows, speak of a collective composure beyond their years.
Marco Reus was once their bright young thing. Now 29 and fit again, the Germany international has six goals this season and appears revitalised. Spain forward Paco Alcacer is even more prolific, with eight in seven games. The purchase option of an initial €23m in his loan agreement from Barcelona looks like a ludicrous steal.
Favre in-sync with the board
Alcacer's signing is a symbol of the smooth operation of Dortmund's sporting operation over recent months - another factor that harks back to the Klopp years.
Thomas Tuchel was an immensely gifted coach but confrontations contributed to burning his reign out. However supportive chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc might have wished to be when it came to Peter Bosz and Peter Stoger, results would not allow an enduring relationship.
Favre's relaxed and softly spoken demeanour cuts a contrast with Dortmund's most famous former manager, but his nurturing impact on players finding their way in the game has been clear.
The 61-year-old Swiss, who even managed to keep Mario Balotelli on the straight and narrow during his time at Nice, also has a shrewd eye for game-changing substitutions.
Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro coming off the bench to score three of BVB's four goals in the 4-0 Champions League bludgeoning of Atletico Madrid was the most explicit example of this, but a league-high 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of Bundesliga matches this season demonstrates a consistent pattern.
Following the recent 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin, where Dortmund twice threw away a lead, Watzke dismissed them as "too green" to claim the title. Win on Saturday to open up a seven-point advantage over Bayern and he might come to think his old employee Hummels has a point.
|Teen driver ´fine´ after sustaining spinal fracture in F3 crash|
|Willett wins first title since Masters triumph, Molinari tops Race to Dubai standings|
|Southgate overcomes ´stigma´ of being sacked to thrive with England|
|Anthony to Lakers ´not a question for myself´, says LeBron James|
|Warriors´ Stephen Curry staying ´cautious´ with injury recovery|
|Gunter hopes Bale can help family jet in to witness Wales record|
|Root pleased to practice what he preached|
|Tianjin Quanjian threaten action after Modeste returns to Cologne|
|I had to stop Kemba getting 70! – Jimmy Butler reflects on dramatic game-winner|
|Molinari wins Race to Dubai|
|Rooney: Some ex-players can´t come to terms with England doing well|
|In a spin: England´s win against Sri Lanka sets new record|
|Ogier wins sixth straight WRC title|
|Rogic, Kruse to miss Socceroos´ Lebanon friendly|
|Joerger has Kings´ ´full support´, says GM Divac|
|England seal series win over Sri Lanka|
|Butler´s heroics spoil Walker´s 60-point game as 76ers beat Hornets|
|He´s an honest guy – Djokovic defends Zverev after Finals controversy|
|Bonucci boos a ´mistake´ by fans, says Mancinima|
|Ronaldo still part of Portugal squad – Santos|
|Santos satisfied as Portugal reach Nations League Finals|
|Howell holds onto RSM Classic lead|
|McLeish optimistic as Scotland zero in on Nations League promotion|
|Luis Enrique rejects criticism of Spain star De Gea|
|Schmidt dismisses Hansen´s Ireland World Cup favourites claim as ´banter´|
|There are always imbeciles – Bonucci hits back at fans after frosty San Siro reception|
|Portugal draw ´a step forward´ despite poor finishing – Mancini|
|Ireland were just too good - Read|
|Thomas at the double as France end losing streak|
|Albania 0 Scotland 4: Forrest double sets up promotion showdown|
|Italy 0 Portugal 0: European champions outplayed but secure Finals spot|
|Sensational Djokovic marches into final|
|Stander lauds Ireland´s ´unreal´ defence as All Blacks are thwarted|
|Dazzling Ireland claim historic All Blacks scalp in Dublin|
|Federer unimpressed with Zverev boos|
|Let´s get it on! Cheika relishing England clash|
|Croatia coach Dalic to speak with Lovren over Ramos remarks|
|Xhaka puts improved form down to ´freak´ Emery|
|De Gea not lacking confidence, says Spain´s Saul|
|Jordan goalkeeper scores from own penalty area in friendly against India|
|Pollard leads Springboks to Murrayfield victory|
|Fired-up Japan taught England a great lesson - Jones|
|Sarries leave it late to down Sale, Bath and Saints win|
|O´Shea fumes at disallowed Italy try|
|Southgate welcomes England selection quandary|
|Reaching Rooney´s England goals record ´definitely possible´ – Kane|
|Debut try for Cokanasiga as England rally to avoid Japan upset|
|Wembley will galvanise ´tired´ Croatia, insists Dalic|
|Zverev apologises for tie-break controversy amid O2 Arena heckles|
|Marquez happy with fifth after damaging shoulder in Valencia|
|Wales crush Tonga in Cardiff|
|Germany should keep faith in old guard - Bierhoff|
|Injured Lukaku to miss Belgium´s Nations League decider|
|Zverev knocks out Federer to reach maiden ATP Finals showpiece|
|Koroibete double maintains Australia´s 100 per cent record against Italy|
|Juventus´ Khedira sprains ankle in training|
|Van Dijk: Ramos is not my type of defender|
|Vinales grabs Valencia pole as Marquez crashes|
|I don´t deserve Ballon d´Or, Mbappe does – Hazard|
|Reed and Willett share lead in Dubai|
|Romagnoli joins long AC Milan injury list|
|Williamson steadies Black Caps after Boult heroics|
|Griezmann targets swift French response against Uruguay|
|Havertz´s future lies with Bayer Leverkusen – sporting director Boldt|
|Socceroos boss Arnold excited for future|
|South Africa triumph on Gold Coast in truncated T20 clash|
|Germany without Draxler for Netherlands game|
|Barcelona confirm Rakitic hamstring injury|
|Rain halts England´s post-tea flourish|
|Australia 1 South Korea 1: Luongo seals late draw for Socceroos|