Dortmund vs Schalke 04
Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Saturday, 16-05-2020 @4:30pm
Ref: Deniz Aytekin
All eyes will be on the German Bundesliga this weekend as it makes it’s much anticipated return after a 2-month absence.
Football across the major European Leagues has been on halt since early much due to the COVID-19 crisis and the Bundesliga will become the first of those leagues to resume action.
The headline fixture on Saturday will be the hotly contested rivalry between Borrusia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
Before the break, Dortmund was one of the most in-form sides in the Bundesliga winning all their last four games including a scrappy 2-1 victory at Monchengladbach on match-day 24.
However, their very last game was a disappointing 2-0 loss to PGS in the Champions League, ensuring they exit the competition at the round of 16.
Currently second on the log with 51 points, BVB will move to within a point of leaders Bayern who play on Sunday with victory against their arch rivals and neighbours on Saturday but will have to do it without their always vocal fans as they have been banned to attend the contest.
For Schalke, they must have welcomed the break as they had not won any of their last seven league games, losing three and drawing the other four.
The Royal Blues are still very much in contention for a European finish, though, as they occupy sixth position, one point clear of seventh-placed Wolfsburg, who are due to face Augsburg on Saturday.
Schalke have only actually lost six of their 25 league matches this season, which is a number only bettered by the top three RB Leipzig, Dortmund and Bayern, while as mentioned above, their recent record against BVB is strong.
Wagner’s side have picked up 16 points from their 12 away games this season, which is a decent return, but Dortmund have the best home record in the Bundesliga during the 2019-20 campaign, collecting 30 points from 12 matches, winning nine times and remaining unbeaten in the process.
Neither Axel Witsel nor Emre Can will be available for selection for BVB on Saturday, meaning that Julian Brandt and Thomas Delaney could line up in the middle of the park. Dan-Axel Zagadou, Nico Schulz and Marco Reus will also be absent for the home side, but Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi should overcome slight concerns to make the starting XI this weekend.
As for Schalke, Omar Mascarell and Ozan Kabak will both be absent for the derby, while Benjamin Stambouli is a doubt. Suat Serdar has missed four of Schalke’s last five league matches through injury, but the 23-year-old, who has scored seven times this season, should be fit to start in the middle of the park. On-loan Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny should also feature for the visitors at right-back.
The first meeting between the two sides this season ended in a 0-0 draw. Dortmund have not defeated Schalke at home since November 2011.
The other Bundesliga games this weekend
-RB Leipzig vs Freigburg @4:30pm
-Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin @4:30pm
-Dusseldorf vs Paderbon @4:30pm
-Augsburg vs Wolfsburg @4:30pm
-Frankfurt vs Monchengladbach @7:30pm
-Koln vs Mainz @4:30pm
-Union Berlin vs Bayern @7pm
-Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen @9:30pm