The next installment of exciting football action from Europe is a derby day on Saturday. Behind all the headlines that the Clasico will obviously capture, there is the Ruhr derby. This surely is a lot more than just a local derby, with 2 teams who finished in the top 4 last season facing off.
The last time the 2 clashed, Schalke beat their rivals 2-1 at Gelsenkirchen to complete the double over them last season. That defeat hurt the fans, and Dortmund will be looking to get back at Schalke. There’s a lot more at stake for Der BVB of course, as they currently trail Bayern Munich by a point, and they need to pick up the win to keep the pressure on the Bavarians. Dortmund picked up a number of good wins earlier, but have slowed down a bit of late. They’re top scorers in the division, and this attacking prowess will certainly help against a team that has been prone to conceding goals, 19 in all this season. Tactically, Dortmund’s approach to games is well known, with the premium being on speed during attacks. Lewandowski has been in good form so far this season, but has been ably supported by the likes of Aubemeyang and Reus. The Dortmund machine looks pretty well oiled going into this crucial clash.
Schalke, on the other hand, have been quite unpredictable with their form. They have managed to score 17 goals so far, but have gone and conceded 2 more. They lie in 5th place in the table, and certainly have the talent to upset Dortmund. They ran into trouble against Chelsea on Tuesday night, but have won both their Champions League games aside from that, and also beaten Leverkusen. They’ve let themselves down against the ‘smaller’ sides, which bodes well for their performance in this game. The team has performed quite well, with Szalai filling in well for the injured Huntelaar. Behind him, the likes of Draxler and Farfan are expected to trouble the Dortmund defence. In their own defence, Uchida has done well this season, but the real star of that line is Bendikt Howedes.
We can look forward to a goal fest in this game, with both teams having good attacks, and Schalke in particular being leaky at the back. Don’t be surprised if you see a few tackles flying in either, because this is a derby with a lot of spice.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
THE SEASON THUS FAR