Check out the latest betting tips for the highly anticipated Revierderby between rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
After two months of no football whatsoever, the Bundesliga returns with a bang on Saturday. And what better way to kick things off than a showdown between Dortmund and Schalke?
The battle for local bragging rights in Germany’s industrial heartland always stirs up something special.
The Revierderby is one of the most attended and atmospheric clashes in German football. It’s also among the fiercest rivalries in the world, with a history of 155 clashes dating back to 1925.
Considering the coronavirus pandemic, however, things will be a little different. The 81,365-capacity Signal Iduna Park will be empty on Saturday, which will be a strange sight. There will also be new procedures to follow for both clubs. But once the players get to grips with the circumstances, the derby should be as intense and competitive as ever.
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Despite losing 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last time out, Dortmund were in decent form. They had won seven of their last eight Bundesliga games before the hiatus. It restored hopes of a first league crown since 2013, with leaders Bayern Munich just four points ahead in the standings.
Therefore, it’s no surprise to see Betfair install the hosts as favourites to take home the spoils. Aside from the 14-point gap in the league table, Lucien Favre’s side are unbeaten at home in all competitions. They’re also on a five-game-winning run at Signal Iduna Park.
So Dortmund will obviously hope to pick up where they left off this weekend. And with odds of 1.50 in their favour, three points seems inevitable. Although nothing is ever set in stone in football.
We must also consider the fact that Dortmund last played on March 11, meaning their recent form may count for nothing. It means both teams may have hit the reset button during the enforced hiatus.
That said, BVB will be all fired-up on Saturday.
Victory will not only win them local bragging rights, but it will also put Bayern under pressure on Sunday. So, the derby should be a good one. However, Dortmund’s injury problems may spoil the party.
Lucien Favre confirmed that Axel Witsel and Emre Can are out of Saturday’s derby. Therefore, Borussia Dortmund are without two important central midfielders. Although this may open the door for Thomas Delaney’s return to the line-up.
Ankle and knee injuries had left the Dane sidelined since November.
Although Jadon Sancho is in a race to be fit in time despite returning to training. Reports state Achraf Hakimi, Mario Gotze, Manuel Akanji and Marcel Schmelzer have also struggled.
David Wagner enjoyed a solid start to reign in charge of Schalke, winning four of his opening six Bundesliga games. The club was in third-place by early December. A dip in form saw them slip down the standings, though.
Aside from being on a seven-match winless run, Schalke have only won once in their last 10 league outings. They also suffered 5-0 thrashings to Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in that period. The enforced break, therefore, couldn’t have been more welcome.
Perhaps Schalke’s biggest problem has been themselves, however. They’ve dropped too many points this season, often blowing one-goal leads. The recent 1-1 draws against Hoffenheim and Paderborn are proof of this. And while it sounds nice to have a league-best of 10 draws, three points are always better than one.
Re-entering the top-four seems like an impossible task now, with Schalke 12 points behind fourth-place Borussia Monchengladbach. The best bet is to defend their sixth-place. This will guarantee a third-round entry for next season’s Europa League.
But the Royal Blues will be hard pushed to beat the Borussia Dortmund defence on Saturday. Only two goals have come in their last six league games, all at home. While they haven’t won on the road since November. Plus, Dortmund have kept clean sheets in their last three home games.
So Wagner’s men are very much the underdogs, with odds of 6.50 to claim victory. A rating of 4.50 for a draw is their best hope for Saturday.
Aside from a goalless draw in September, however, there are normally plenty of goals in a Revierderby. In fact, both teams have scored 19 goals combined in their last five meetings.
Unlike Borussia Dortmund, Schalke’s injury problems aren’t so grave. Only two players are definitely out, with Benjamin Stambouli working his way back to fitness. Salif Sane and Juan Miranda may feature as well.
The Bayern Munich-bound Alexander Nubel, meanwhile, is set to remain benched in favour of Markus Schubert.
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Last five meetings