Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – Westfalenstadion at 14:30
Hold on to your hats – Saturday is Revierderby day.
Dortmund’s battles with Schalke tend to be fiery affairs and this weekend’s match-up promises plenty for punters and neutrals alike. These two hate the sight of each other and Germany’s biggest derby match tends to deliver fireworks.
Schalke held the upper-hand in the Ruhr and indeed Germany during the post-war era but Dortmund’s triumph in the Westphalia Championship in 1947 renewed the rivalry between the two cities of Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen.
The Ruhr is the country’s spiritual hotbed and the struggle for local mastery has pitted the two massively supported clubs against each other, in a fight to be seen as the true people’s club of the region.
It’s a conflict that transcends the disputes between the miners of Schalke and the brewers of Dortmund that originally kicked this off.
At its core, the Ruhr derby is purely emotional, the kind of match in which sheer desire and determination can overcome any barrier. In terms of atmosphere and passion, this match is Germany’s biggest by some distance and ranks among the fiercest in the world.
Schalke finding form
Schalke makes the 32-kilometer journey in second position behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga following a six-match unbeaten streak with the Royal Blues’ success under young head coach Domenico Tedesco based more on substance rather than style.
Not that the Gelsenkirchen club will care. S04 may have won only once against a side sitting in 10th or above but there are personality and purpose about their performances. Their progress has impressed, particularly with Leon Goretzka and Nabil Bentaleb injured, and the visitors will send blood on Saturday.
Dortmund on their last legs?
Dortmund – 2012-13 Champions League finalists – have lost their way. Unconvincing consecutive draws against Cyprus minnows Apoel Nicosia and beaten twice by Spurs has meant no Champions League knockout football for BVB and their alarming tailspin has extended into domestic action.
Peter Bosz has seen his side slide to four defeats in five following a wretched reverse in Stuttgart last Friday night. Dortmund displayed flashes of old – quick, attacking and exciting football but confidence evaporated as the match progressed with the Black & Yellows an unorganized rabble at the back.
The Asian Handicap angle
Germany’s leading voice in football, Bild, believe Bosz has this match to save his job and he takes his hosts into the contest on the back of a five-match winless run on home soil, their worst such spell in 11 years. It’s difficult to see Dortmund arresting such a slide and Schalke can keep this contest competitive.
Schalke can be supported with a +1 Asian Handicap at 1.72. Considering only two of their last 11 encounters with Dortmund ended in defeat by more than a solitary strike, as well as only two of their most recent 10 at the Westfalenstadion, the Royal Blues should be confident in picking up a positive result.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: Schalke +1 at 1.680
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