There is the small matter of the Revierderby in the Bundesliga on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund host Schalke at 5:30pm.
Dortmund XI: Dortmund: Bürki; Akanji, Hummels, Delaney; Meunier, Brandt, Dahoud, Guerreiro; Sancho, Reyna; Haaland
Schalke XI: Rönnow; Ludewig, Thiaw, Sane, Nastasic, Oczipka; Mascarell, Bentaleb; Harit; Matondo, Paciencia.
Where to watch Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 3
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke:
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Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke build-up, pre-match team news & previous line-ups:
The two rivals have had very contrasting starts to the new season, with Dortmund currently third in the table having won three of their opening four games. However, they were handed a defeat in the Champions League in midweek, losing 3-1 to Lazio, after conceding twice early on and struggling to get back in the game.
Schalke, meanwhile, are second from bottom with just one point won so far, picked up in their most recent game against Union Berlin.
It may feel like everything is in Dortmund’s favour this weekend, especially after their 4-0 win in the final Revierderby of last season, things have been a lot more even.
Of the past nine Bundesliga meetings, both sides have won two games with five draws. However, Schalke failed to score in the two matches last season and have the worst defence in the league. We’re in for a treat.
- Borussia Dortmund: (vs Lazio): Hitz; Piszczek, Delaney, Hummels; Meunier, Witsel, Bellingham, Guerreiro; Reus, Sancho; Haaland.
- Schalke (vs Union Berlin): Ronnow; Ludewig, Sane, Nastasic, Oczipka; Bozgodan, Mascarell, Bentaleb; Skrzybski, Ibisevic, Raman.
Borussia Dortmund have no fresh injury concerns following their defeat to Lazio and will be boosted by the return of Manuel Akanji to the squad, with the Swiss centre-back likely to replace Thomas Delaney in defence. Emre Can, Marcel Schmelzer and Dan-Axel Zagadou are out.
Schalke remain without Suat Serdar, Ralf Fahrmann and Mark Uth through injury and the suspended Ozan Kabak.
Players to watch:
- Borussia Dortmund: Erling Haaland. We’re running out of words to describe how good Haaland is and he showed it again against Lazio in midweek despite the defeat. The Norwegian thought he had pulled his side back into the game 20 minutes from time with an emphatic finish inside the area, scoring his sixth game of the season. Four of those goals have come in the Bundesliga, in just two games, scoring braces against both Borussia Monchengladbach and Freiburg. If you are one to believe in patterns, Haaland has been alternating not scoring with his braces in the Bundesliga and, after failing to find the net last weekend, Schalke may be worried about what’s to come.
- Schalke: Vedad Ibisevic. 2020/21 has really been a season of struggle for Schalke so far, with the Royal Blues faltering in both defence and attack. Of players in their current squad, no one has scored more than one Bundesliga goal in 2020 and while that doesn’t include Ibisevic, Schalke will be relying on him this weekend. The 36-year-old is a new arrival, having joined from Hertha Berlin in the summer, and brings the experience this Schalke side needs up front. In 343 Bundesliga games, spread across five different clubs, Ibisevic has scored 127 goals. How much will Schalke be hoping he opens his account for them this weekend?