By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Bitter rivals Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund will lock horns on Saturday for the 100th Revierderby in Bundesliga history.
After playing out four consecutive goalless draws, Schalke’s quest to remain in the top flight has received a boost in their last two games. Thomas Reis’ side followed a 2-1 home win over Stuttgart with their first away victory of the Bundesliga season when they faced Bochum last weekend.
A 45th-minute own goal from Manuel Riemann gave Schalke a slender half-time lead, before Marius Bülter found the net in the second period to secure a 2-0 victory.
Not only are Schalke unbeaten in six league games, but they have now claimed consecutive top-flight victories for the first time since November 2019. Schalke also moved off the bottom of the Bundesliga table last weekend, but Bochum’s victory over Koln on Friday drops Die Königsblauen back into last place.
Having failed to score in their last five Revierderbies, Schalke may have their work cut out against their bitter rivals. However, having kept four clean sheets in their last five Bundesliga games, Schalke will at least be hopeful of claiming a point on Saturday.
Schalke have a lengthy injury list, which includes Tim Skarke, Jere Uronen, Danny Latza, Sepp van den Berg, Soichiro Kozuki and Dominick Drexler.
There are doubts over Niklas Tauer’s availability, while Sebastian Polter and Justin Heeekeren are expected to miss the rest of the season.
Borussia Dortmund will look to bounce back from Champions League disappointment in Saturday’s derby fixture. Edin Terzic’s side took a narrow 1-0 lead into the second leg of their last-16 against Chelsea. However, they were unable to hold onto their advantage at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea claimed a 2-0 victory, ending Dortmund’s participation in European competition for the 2022-23 campaign.
Although the midweek result represented Dortmund’s first defeat of 2023, they are yet to drop points in the Bundesliga since the turn of the year. Having collected eight consecutive league victories, Dortmund are currently level on points with league leaders Bayern Munich, who have a better goal difference.
After winning their last three away league games without conceding, the visitors have the chance to equal their club record of four consecutive away clean sheets in the Bundesliga, which was set in 1994.
While a clean sheet would be a bonus, Dortmund’s main priority will be to claim all three points, and after winning the last four Revierderbies, they will be confident that they can record another victory over their rivals on Saturday.
Terzic has revealed that late decisions will have to be made over the availability of Marco Reus and Gregor Kobel, who are struggling with illness and injury respectively.
The visitors will definitely be unable to call upon Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko, Julien Duranville, Abdoulaye Kamara and Mateu Morey. After being suspended for the Champions League meeting with Chelsea in midweek, Julian Ryerson will return to the matchday squad.