The time has come! Borussia Dortmund will visit their eternal rivals FC Schalke this Saturday, in what is one of the most anticipated matches in Bundesliga’s calendar. Whenever these two teams play against each other, the stakes become high, and even though the current table looks very unfamiliar to what it was some five-six years ago, both teams will still have the same level of passion and vigour when they clash on Saturday.
A handful amount of players from both the respective sides were on international duty this week and therefore, some key players will miss the all important derby this weekend.
Here is the predicted Dortmund lineup to feature against the Gelsenkirchen outfit.
Goalkeeper: Roman Burki will try to capitalise on his brilliant form to look for another clean sheet against Schalke. However, it will sure be tough to keep out the likes of Burgstaller and Max Meyer.
Right Back: The Polish fullback will use his experience to stop the threat of the opposition wingers. Piszczek mostly featured on as a centre back for the second half of the season but is expected to go back to his preferred right-back position.
Center Back(R): Greek International Sokratis Papastathopulos is expected to get back in the starting lineup. The 28-year-old was out in the past few matches due to a slight niggle.
Center Back(L): Marc Bartra will probably be picked ahead of Matthias Ginter in defence alongside Sokratis. The former Barcelona defender has been vital for Thomas Tuchel’s men in the second half of the season. His great passing and dictation from the back can help Dortmund’s flow.
Left Back: Marcel Schmelzer will feature as the stand-in captain, as Marco Reus continues to be a spectator on the sidelines. Schmelzer has been in good form this month, and he will be looking to extend that run in April as well.
Center Defensive Midfield: Julian Weigl is doubtful against Schalke. The 21 year suffered a knock in the International duty for Germany. Therefore, Gonzalo Castro is widely expected to replace the former 1860 midfielder.
Center Defensive Midfield: Anyone remembers Shinji Kagawa? Well, the Japanese midfielder is currently in stunning form. He is undeniably Dortmund’s best player in March or at least in the past two or three matches. He will try to instigate BVB’s attack with his neat play.
Right Midfield: Erik Durm might feature as a right winger against Schalke. Deploying Christian Pulisic on the right flank was a huge flop in the reverse fixture, so Durm might prove to be a little more effective against Sead Kolasinac.
Center Attacking Midfield: Ousmane Dembele is sure to start against the Royal Blues. The Frenchman has been one of the best teenage sensations this season in the whole of Europe. His flashy runs could be useful to break the jaws of the Schalke defence.
Left Midfield: Raphael Guerreiro’s cleverness in the final third is just the icing on the cake for the Dortmund frontline. Guerrerio will no doubt play a key role in the left flank on Saturday.
Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be the lone striker upfront. The Gabon International was in exception form in March and is currently the top scorer in the Bundesliga. If he can keep up his scoring run, the task will become a lot easier for Thomas Tuchel as he looks to dismantle the Schalke defence.