Bundesliga will finally resume on Saturday and that too with a bang, as Borussia Dortmund host FC Schalke in the Revierderby. It is considered as one of the fiercest derbies in Europe, though this will be a peculiar one due to the absence of fans inside the stadium. Regardless, it is a must-win game for Borussia Dortmund, who are trying to keep up with Bayern Munich at the top of the league table.
As for Schalke, they are currently one of the worst-performing teams in the Bundesliga since the turn of the year. It will be interesting to see whether former Huddersfield boss David Wagner can help guide his team back to winning ways as they look to secure Europa League qualification this season.
The 3-4-3 has worked like a charm for Lucien Favre this year, and Dortmund is more than likely to retain that formation against Schalke this weekend. The two wingbacks will play a key role in providing a threat to the opposition on the counter while Mats Hummels is set to be in charge of the club’s build-up from the back. Erling Haaland is expected to lead the line.
FC Schalke 04
Wagner is likely to retain his 4-4-2 even though Dortmund’s 3-4-3 might provide the hosts with a numerical advantage in the defensive third and also in midfield. The two wide attackers, therefore, could move in centrally to support the strikers, thereby overwhelming the Dortmund defence.
Borussia Dortmund will continue to miss out on the services of club captain Marco Reus. Favre has more worries as both his key midfielders in Axel Witsel and Emre Can have been ruled out, as well as first-choice defender Dan-Axel Zagadou. On the positive side, the Black and Yellows will be boosted by the return of Thomas Delaney.
Predicted XI (3-4-3): Roman Burki; Lukasz Piszczek, Mats Hummels, Manuel Akanji; Achraf Hakimi, Thomas Delaney, Julian Brandt; Raphael Guerreiro; Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Thorgan Hazard.
FC Schalke 04
Schalke have confirmed that both Ozan Kabak and Omar Mascarell will be out this weekend. Also, they have Benjamin Stambouli doubtful heading into this fixture, although the Frenchman was not going to be considered as a first-choice option at the back anyway.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Markus Schubert; Jonjoe Kenny, Jean-Clair Todibo, Matija Nastastic, Bastian Oczipka; Daniel Caligiuri, Weston McKennie, Suat Serdar, Amine Harit; Benito Raman, Guido Burgstaller.
With Reus once again absent, Borussia Dortmund will again rely on their star man Erling Braut Haaland to provide the productivity going forward. His effectiveness in front of goal could be a massive gamechanger for a BVB side that already have a packed creative setup, with players like Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Julian Brandt.
For Schalke, it could be an important game for Jonjoe Kenny. The Englishman, on loan from Everton, has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the Bundesliga and his presence on the right-back will be key in minimising Dortmund’s effectiveness going forward. His pace and offensive support could also be critical as Schalke look to secure a win in this Revierderby.
Borussia Dortmund host FC Schalke in the Revierderby : What is the prediction?
Despite Dortmund’s might in the attack, this could turn out to be a dull game, with both sides likely to struggle in creating chances. So we expect the Revierderby to end in a scoreless draw this weekend.