Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke | Bundesliga | Match Preview
The Bundesliga is back behind closed doors this weekend, local bragging rights are up for grabs on Saturday afternoon when Borussia Dortmund host bitter rivals Schlake at Signal-Iduna-Park.
Starting with the hosts, although a 2-0 defeat away at PSG back in March may have brought an end to Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League exploits, Lucien Farve’s men still sit firmly in the Bundesliga title picture. Opening the German return sat four points adrift of Bayern Munich and top spot, BVB won their previous four top-flight matchups prior to the unexpected break and have collected a very eye-catching 21 points out of a possible 24.
While attacking sensation Erling Haland might be stealing most of the headlines after bagging 12 goals in his opening 11 appearances since securing a January move from Red Bull Salzburg, Farve will undoubtedly be most impressed by his side’s most recent performances at the other end of the pitch. Including what was a stunning 4-0 romp away at Europa League outfit Eintracht Frankfurt back in February, Saturday’s hosts have now conceded just a single Bundesliga goal in almost 400 minutes of action, their best defensive tally since opening 2020. Boasting one of the most exciting young squads across Europe, Dortmund should be looking to make a statement on their return this weekend.
Making their Bundesliga return this weekend, BVB will be unable to call upon the likes of Emre Can, Axel Witsel and Nico Schulz, all of whom are out with injuries.
Elsewhere, captain Marco Reus is another absentee due to a back injury. However, attacking sensation Erling Haland is set to lead the line along with England international Jadon Sancho.
As for the visitors, while BVB might have entered the break with the mood in their camp at a continued high, Schalke are a side desperately hoping to end what was a woeful run of form back in March. Despite entering the break with a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, the Blues have failed to win any of their last 10 matchups within 90 minutes and have not record a Bundesliga victory since the 17th of January.
Now in a real battle to try and secure another European finish this year, Head Coach David Wagner has also seen his side continue to struggle while away from the VELTINS-Arena. Including a woeful 3-0 hammering away at Koln in their last away fixture, the Blues have failed to win any of their last six Bundesliga matches on their travels, their worst run since May 2015. Ahead of their cross-town trip this weekend, there is no doubt that the former Huddersfield boss will be calling for his side to make some rather drastic improvements in the final third. Managing to record just a single strike in their last five matchups across all competitions, Schalke have also failed to find the net in their last four Bundesliga matchups on the road.
Schalke already know Omar Mascarell will miss the rest of the season with an adductor tear and the prognosis could be the same for Ozan Kabak with a back problem.
Elsewhere, the Blues will be able to once again call upon Daniel Caligiuri who has recovered from a knee problem, while Suat Serdar is back after breaking his toe in training.