Schalke v Borussia Dortmund – Veltins-Arena at 14:30 Live at BT Sport
Sunday is Revierderby day – always a date for the diary.
Schalke’s battles with Dortmund tend to 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.
Dortmund makes the 32-kilometer journey looking to avenge their embarrassing earlier season 4-4 draw – a game in which the Black & Yellows led 4-0 after only 25 minutes, eventually leaking the equalizing goal in second-half stoppage-time.
The two Ruhr rivals are locked in a fascinating battle for a top-four finish. A solitary point separates the pair heading into Sunday’s showdown but with Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in hot pursuit, defeat here could spell disaster in their quest to seal Champions League qualification.
Dortmund bounce back
Dortmund had both Christian Pulisic and Marco Reus back in their starting XI as they bounce back from their humbling 6-0 smashing at Bayern Munich with a comfortable 3-0 win over Stuttgart. Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi impressed, grabbing goals before Max Phillip confirmed the victory with a third.
Playing a counter-attacking style under Peter Stoger, BVB were far more effective at creating opportunities and regularly troubled Ron Robert Zieler in the Stuttgart goal. Nuri Sahin, back in the side after a long lay-off, helped provide cutting edge from the middle of the park although Dortmund never looked completely comfortable when out of possession.
Schalke slip up
One of the biggest coupon-busters of last weekend arrived from Hamburg. Second-placed Schalke saw their six-game winning streak ended by their relegation-threatened hosts via one of the goals of the season with less than 10 minutes to play.
Aaron Hunt’s rocket at the Volksparkstadion proved decisive as the Royal Blues slipped to a 3-2 reverse. Naldo had given Schalke the lead against the run of play but the early goal appeared to inspire HSV who went on to dominate the majority of the match.
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco saw his side almost pinch an undeserving point at the death but the Royal Blues boss admitted he was unsatisfied by his team’s display and demanded a major improvement ahead of this weekend’s clash.
Royal Blues value to avoid defeat
The past four Revierderby’s have ended all-square but Dortmund has only triumphed once in their past five trips to Gelsenkirchen. In fact, the Black & Yellows have triumphed in just three of their previous 11 showdowns with Schalke and in their current guise, I’m surprised to see the visitors as favorites.
BVB may have lost only once since mid-December in the Bundesliga but their road record against the Bundesliga’s best leaves a lot to be desired. Stoger’s side have managed W1-D3-L2 at top-half teams this term, making it W4-D5-L5 at the same standard of opposition since last season.
In contrast, Schalke has W3-D1-L1 when welcoming top-nine clubs to the Veltins Arena and have been operating around the 60% Expected Goals ratio mark throughout the campaign. With that in mind, the Royal Blues are well worth an interest off a scratch 0 Asian Handicap start at 1.98.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Schalke DNB at 1.980