Bundesliga returns: Borussia Dortmund v Schalke

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Retrieved 15 May 2020, 12:00 IST

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Daniel Caliguri (L) and Rafael Guerrero (R) got the ball

Returning to the Bundesliga swing on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund and arch-rivals Schael meet in the 160th Riviarderby.

As the first major European league to re-emerge in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the clash at Signal Iduna Park is a heartwarming treat for starving fans – although the game will be played behind closed doors.

Dortmund will not be able to rely on the famous ‘Yellow Wall’ when they tried to avenge Schalke’s 4-2 home loss in April 2018, which left a huge dent in their title ambitions.

Under Lucian Favre it would be the BBV’s only home Bundesliga defeat and imagine the possibility of avoiding a repeat if they face a winless team in their previous seven Bundesliga games – the worst record in the division.

Minimal goal scoring experience

Daniel Caliguri hit twice for Schalke to score four of his six goals in his player’s Rewards; He has scored a total of 16 runs for the Royal Blues.

Neither player has scored as many goals as Caliguri in Palestine, with Mario Gotze (two) the only player to have netted more than once.

Luther Emerich’s record 10 results in this contest do not seem to surpass any time soon.

Caliguri’s six appearances in the derby are the most on David Wagner’s list, with Dortmund Mats Hummels (16), Marcel Schmelzer (14) and Lucas Peskijek (13) having the most experience.

The record of overall attendance was held by Clutch Fitchtel and Schalke, respectively, and by Roman Weidenfeller of Dortmund. They both featured 24 times in this game.

Midfield concerns

Dortmund will be without Axel Witsell, Emre Can and Marco Reis.

With Whitsell on the pitch, Dortmund have won 67 per cent of their Bundesliga games. Without him, they have won four matches at once.

After losing his first game as a starter, Dortmund could secure four straight wins in midfield.

Both of these will be very missed, but if Favre’s men can keep Amin Harit silent, they will have a better chance of taking the highest points.

Harritt has been involved in more Bundesliga goals than any of his teammates (six scores, four assists) but has not done so in the last nine games.

Schachale has not won any of those games, while in the seven games in which he has been involved with one goal, all have ended in victory.

Ghamm

Jaden Sancho has more hands than any other player in the Bundesliga this season (14 scores, 15 assists) and he will be expected to improve his record at Riviarderby.

England have run in one international and set another in four matches against Schacklock, although his lone strike was won 2-1 in December 2018 – the only success for Dortmund in the last eight meetings of these teams.

The BVB’s signing of Erling Holland in January has made their attack even more dangerous.

Holland’s nine Bundesliga goals are twice as many as Schalke have managed since the break (four) in the middle of the season. In addition, in the last 377 minutes of Bugnesaliga action, Wagner’s team got the net at once, Dortmund got 10 in the same time frame.

Schalke will see them on Saturday as the Bundesliga reach 2,000 goals, although failing to do so means they have dropped to five straight games without scoring for the first time since 1999.

A new goal

Sancho and Holland Schach are hopeful of a better goal for potential Riviardi debutant Marcus Schubert.

Schubert has saved 76 per cent in all six Bundesliga matches.

That’s a better rate than Alexander Noble (711 percent), who has been on the verge of agreeing to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old Schubert will look to impress on whether Dortmund will have to win their 800th Bundesliga when football finally returns.