In-form Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski has been labelled the world's best striker by Borussia Dortmund legend Karl-Heinz Riedle ahead of Sunday's Der Klassiker.
Lewandowski has been in irresistible form in recent weeks, plundering an astonishing 10 goals in his last three appearances as Bayern continue to sweep aside all-comers both at home and abroad.
The Poland forward, who swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena last year, has helped Pep Guardiola's team to 10 straight wins in all competitions since their defeat to Wolfsburg on penalties in the Super Cup.
And ex-Germany striker Riedle - who won the 1996-97 Champions League and two Bundesliga titles during his four-year spell with Dortmund - has hailed the quality of Lewandowski, 27, ahead of the top-versus-second clash in the Bundesliga.
When asked to compare Lewandowski and Dortmund's own prolific forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riedle told Omnisport: "Robert Lewandowski is just an exceptional player, whether or not he plays at Bayern Munich.
"In his position, I think he is probably the best player in the world. He hardly has any weaknesses, he is powerful in the air. He just holds on to the ball like no one else.
"He isn't that fast like Aubameyang, that's the difference. Lewandowski is just another type of centre-forward than Aubameyang.
"In my opinion, Pierre-Emerick is more of a counter-player than Lewandowski."
Sunday's mouth-watering fixture at the Allianz pits two of this season's in-form sides against each other, with Dortmund boasting a record of 11 wins and three draws from their 14 games so far.
Dortmund have made an impressive start to life after Jurgen Klopp and Riedle took time to praise new boss Thomas Tuchel.
"Of course everybody was shocked when Jurgen Klopp quit - he characterised the club over the last eight years like no one else did," he added.
"So it's difficult for every coach who comes after him. But Thomas Tuchel accepted the task, it's a chance for him.
"A lot of people were wary because he hasn't got the temperament of Jurgen Klopp. But he is a very good analyst and a great technical coach. A different person than Klopp, of course.
"I met him in Asia [on Dortmund's pre-season tour], and he is really pleasant. So I hope everything continues in the way it does now."
Riedle went on to say that this weekend's Klassiker is too close to call, although he acknowledged that Bayern's home advantage could be key.
He continued: "I think it's going to be a great clash. I don't think that Dortmund will be too defensive, and Bayern Munich plays at home, so they want to win the game.
"Their form is impressive and Dortmund is good, too. I don't think Dortmund wil make the same mistakes against Munich which they did in the draw against Darmstadt. So I think Bayern Munich is the favourite, but Dortmund has a great chance to gain points, too."
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