Dortmund logofc_schalke_04Borussia Dortmund

vs

FC Schalke 04

Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Saturday, 28 February 2015, 15:30 CET (8:00pm IST)
*****

The biggest game of the German football calendar has arrived! The Revierderby or the Ruhrderby has been fiercely fought on and off the field by both sides across the years, and with a lot at stake this time as well, it looks to be a cracking encounter once more.

Schalke boss Roberto Di Matteo summed it up perfectly before before the 146th encounter between the two sides, “It is a game that will be dominated by the emotions – it will be a game full of passion and tacticsa .

Team news, tactics and lineup

Dortmund

On a three game winning streak for the first time this season, the home side will be energized in prospect of avenging the 2-1 loss to Schalke on Matchday 6 earlier this season.

Despite being 12th in the table and a loss to Juventus on Tuesday, the Black and Yellows should be pleased with their performances of late, and go into the fixture as the team in better form.

Lukasz Piszcek will miss the fixture following an ankle knock which will see him miss a further 6 weeks of action. Kevin GroAYkreutz, the other option at right back is also ruled out with a thigh muscle tear. Yet another defensive concern for JA?rgen Klopp is Sokratis, who complained of muscular discomfort. a It’s not impossible that he will play, but not terribly likely eithera said Klopp in Thursdaya s press conference. Furthermore, Kevin Kampl, Neven Subotic, Sven Bender and Erik Durm have all just recovered from illness and injury and may not feature in Saturdaya s showdown.

Oliver Kirch and Matthias Ginter both came on as substitutes in Turin, and it seems likely that both will get the nod on Saturday. Keeper Roman Weidenfeller hasna t had a good season so far, and Klopp may consider dropping him for Mitch Langerak as well.

Should other results go their way, Dortmund could climb to 9th place with a win tomorrow.

Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller-Kirch-Ginter-Hummels-Schmelzer- Sahin-GA?ndogan-Reus-Kagawa-Mkhitaryan-Aubameyang

Schalke

Roberto Di Matteoa s fourth placed Schalke havena t enjoyed a great restart to the campaign with just 1 win in 5 games, and the sheer size of the injury list doesna t bode too well this time around.

Keepers Ralf F hrmann and Fabian Giefer are still sidelined which means that youngster Timon Wellenreuther will don the gloves once again. Julian Draxler, Jefferson Farfan, Leon Goretzka, Sead Kolasinac, Chinedu Obasi, Joel Matip and Jan Kirchhoff are the other absentees for the game.

However, the Blues will celebrate the return of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar following a 4 match suspension, which will ease the pressure on a side struggling to score goals. A win would prove very valuable in the race for the Championa s League spots.

Probable lineup (5-3-2): Wellenreuther-Uchida-H wedes-Nastasic-Fuchs-Neust dter- H ger-Barnetta-Meyer-Choupo Moting-Huntelaar

Watch out for:

benedikt howedes

Schalke under Di Matteo have their strength in their defence, with skipper Benni H wedes leading the back line by example on numerous occasions. One of the Bundesligaa s most consistent players, H wedes is a man to watch. His aerial prowess, no nonsense tackling and neat ball distribution will be vital in subduing the yellow bombardment.

Marco Reus

marco reusJust as Schalkea s strength is in their defence, Dortmunda s is in their attack led by Marco Reus. After securing his long term future at Dortmund, Reus has been in scintillating form by scoring in each of his last 4 games. A fine performance from him not only in front of goal, but as a creator as well, could prove to be the deciding factor.

Key Match facts:

  • Schalke have lost just 2 of their last 15 league games at Dortmund (since 2000)
  • Should Roman Weidefeller play, he would become Dortmunda s record appearance holder against Schalke (23 appearances)
  • A victory for JA?rgen Klopp would make him the joint most successful Derby coach (5 victories, along with Otmar Hitzfeld)

Prediction:

Dortmund 2-1 Schalke

Matches between the two rarely disappoint and expect a fiery encounter as always. Dortmund have been on a roll lately, and would fancy themselves to take 3 crucial points away from a side struggling to score.