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Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Team News, Tactics Key Stats

Homeround-upsSchalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Team News, Tactics Key Stats

One of German footballs greatest rivalries takes centre stage this weekend as Schalke welcome bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund for the 100th Bundesliga installment of the Revierderby derby.

Local bragging rights, as well as three points, will be on the line as Schalke 04 take on Borussia Dortmund in the 160th Revierderby on Saturday, with the hosts in desperate need of three points in light of their relegation battle, while Edin Terzics men will hope to continue mounting the pressure on reigning German champions Bayern Munich,who face Augsburg earlier in the day.

Having said that, as the cliche goes, form typically goes out the window in a derby clash, so these two are destined to dish up an intriguing battle at Veltins-Arena.

Schalke looked doomed for relegation to the second tier yet again after losing 10 of their 11 Bundesliga games between September and January. However,Die Knappenhave given themselves a fighting chance of beating the drop in recent weeks, racking up a six-game unbeaten streak.

After four straight goalless draws, Schalke defeated VfB Stuttgart 2-1 before beating Bochum 2-0 last time out. While there is no hiding the fact that they are still very much in a scrap, they can climb out of the relegation zone with a positive result against arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund, with them being equal on points with Stuttgart, who are in a safety spot but hanging by a thread.

After a somewhat shaky end to 2022, Dortmunds form has been stellar since the turn of the year, and they were on a ten-match winning streak in all competitions before the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Chelsea in midweek. Their eight successive league wins have equaled the club record, meaning they have a chance to create history with a win over Schalke.

Having been knocked out of the Champions League as they let an out-of-form Chelsea overturn their first-leg deficit at Stamford Bridge to book a place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline. With their European quest now over, Terzics side will now shift their attention to the Bundesliga, where they sit level on 49 points with first-placed Bayern Munich in the table and are pushing for their first title since 2011.

When the two teams last met in September, Dortmund clinched a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of a late goal, and the margins might be similar in Saturdays reverse fixture. And here at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this Revierderby in the Bundesliga this weekend.

Intensity ⬆️ ahead of the Revierderby ⚒️

FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en)March 9, 2023

Schalke have a lengthening list of absentees, which includes Tim Skarke (foot), and Sepp van den Berg (ankle). Thomas Ouwejan has an issue with his adductor, while Jere Uronen and Eder Balanta remain doubtful with muscle problems.

Dominick Drexler is dealing with a thigh injury, while Soichiro Kozuki also has a knock and will be evaluated closer to the game. Cedric Brunner may be fit to play with a special face mask after breaking his nose.

Despite their injury woes, Schalke are feeling confident and strong heading into the derby clash. Thats a credit to head coach Thomas Reis, who has turned Schalkes fortunes around and converted them into a much more competitive Bundesliga outfit.

The 49-year-old has made an amazing change from being mocked as basement boys to being a team that is difficult to beat. The defense, previously the leagues worst, has allowed just one goal in the six games since Ralf Fahrmann replaced Alexander Schwolow in between the sticks, with Schalke starting in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him.

Henning Matriciani will feature on the left side of the defence, whereas Brunner will be called upon on the right. The veteran defender Maya Yoshida will pair up with Moritz Jenz in the heart of the Schalke backline.

Thomas Reis may once again prioritize a strong, compact defensive backline. They will want to frustrate Dortmunds attackers by leaving minimal room between the lines. The majority of BVB attacks originate in the midfield, with the ball carriers controlling the play. Therefore, it will be up to the midfield trio, Alex Kral, Tom Krauss, and Rodrigo Zalazar, to hinder midfield runners, as well as provide a forward thrust in attack.

Despite having the leagues tamest attack, scoring only 18 goals, Schalke will push title-chasing Dortmund all the way. Marius Bulter will be the one to watch in the final third, having managed to score five goals from 16 appearances.

Kenan Karaman will get to start the game on the right wing, while Butler will be on the left flank to build the attack from his side. They will try to feed balls to Michael Frey, who will spearhead the Schalke attack against Dortmund.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3):Fahrmann; Brunner, Jenz, Yoshida, Matriciani; Krauss, Kral, Zalazar; Karaman, Frey, Bulter

Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic may well have to make do without a number of key players this weekend. Julian Brandt wasforced off with a thigh injury in the defeat at Chelsea and is ruled out.

Karim Adeyemi suffered a muscle injury and will be out for around three weeks. Youssoufa Moukoko is ruled out for several weeks with an ankle ligament tear. There are also question marks over the availability of Marco Reus, who is dealing with a flu-like illness.

On the other hand, Mateu Morey is making good progress in his recovery from a serious knee injury, while Gregor Kobel should also be available to return to the fold. Should the Swiss international miss out here or be deemed unfit for this game, second-choice goalkeeper Alexander Meyer will start once again between the sticks.

Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow)March 10, 2023

Marius Wolf will likely continue at right-back despite conceding a penalty against Chelsea, with Julian Ryerson set to make his return to the starting XI after missing the trip to London due to suspension.

The central defensive pairing of Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck has been largely formidable in 2023 but endured a rough time against Chelsea, and that lack of pace was exposed yet again. What better game to redeem themselves than aRuhr derby?

Emre Can will likely retain his place in defensive midfield, with Salih Ozcan and Jude Bellingham also likely to start. Marco Reus is battling sickness. If he is unable to recover in time, one of Donyell Malen or Jamie Bynoe-Gittens will most likely replace him.

Giovanni Reyna replaced Julian Brandt against Chelsea and will most likely get his long-awaited chance to impress from the start on Saturday. Sebastien Haller will lead the attack in hopes of ending his goal drought.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3):Meyer; Wolf, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson; Bellingham, Can, Ozcan; Reyna, Haller, Malen

This will be Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04s 100th Bundesliga meeting, with the former holding the edge (W37 D30 L32).

Borussia Dortmund have won their last eight Bundesliga matches.

Borussia Dortmund have won their last four competitive games against Schalke.

Dortmund have kept a clean sheet in their last five derby games.

Schalke are unbeaten in their last six games (W2 D4), keeping five clean sheets since Januarys 6-1 battering at the hands of Leipzig.

Gio Reynas career, both at international and club level, has become the subject of much speculation in the last few months. He has been a bit of a peripheral figure at Dortmund this season. But he has produced a handful of strong performances off the bench, scoring important goals for the side, including late winners against Augsburg and Mainz in January.

One would expect he could come into the side with injuries stacking up in his position and do a fine job, providing creative qualities. The 20-year-old, who has netted five times in the Bundesliga this term, has the talent to make things happen in the final third and be that clutch quality difference-maker if called upon.

Encounters between these two sides often mean everything to both sets of fans. But thisRuhr derbyis sure to mean even more as Borussia Dortmund will look to maintain their title bid at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Schalke will be looking to get out of the drop zone as they find themselves at the wrong end of the table.

With Schalke rediscovering their mojo in the German top flight recently, it is difficult to see beyond them losing this crucial Revierderby. It might take just a single goal to separate the teams again this weekend, given Schalke have conceded just one goal in their last six league outings combined.

Meanwhile, Dortmund will be lining up with significant firepower with Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, and Youssoufa Moukoko all out injured. Schalke are likely to fight hard and retain possession well at times. But the front three of Giovanni Reyna, Sebastien Haller, and Marco Reus will be too hot to handle for them.

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