Football is back! Borussia Dortmund vs FC Schalke 04, Rivierderby: Preview, team news, head-to-head records Photograph:( AFP )
The resumption of football will start with Germany where Bundesliga 2019-20 will be kick-started with the Revierderby as two of the most heated rivals in the history of football – Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 – will lock horns at the iconic Signal Iduna Park on May 16.
Football is back but this time the beautiful game will come with empty stadiums and fans sitting in front of their electronic appliances to watch their beloved teams play. The resumption of football will start with Germany where Bundesliga 2019-20 will be kick-started with the Revierderby as two of the most heated rivals in the history of football – Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 – will lock horns at the iconic Signal Iduna Park on May 16.
While players’ fitness is a major issue due to restrictions in training amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ruhr Derby always live up to the expectation regardless of the competition it is played in. Some of the big-match players are unlikely to feature in the highly-anticipated match due to lack of fitness but that doesn’t take away all the hype and intensity the match will bring along with it.
From Borussia Dortmund, the likes of Dan-Axel Zagadou, Marco Reus, Axel Witsel, Emre Can are unlikely to feature in the Riveierderby due to fitness issues, whereas Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi, Manuel Akanji, Mario Gotze and Marcel Schmelzer are also a major doubt for the match.
While FC Schalke 04 have fewer injury issues, Benjamin Stambouli, Ozan Kabak and captain Omar Mascarell are likely to be unavailable for the derby.
As football is returning after a prolonged break, team forms are not that important. Dortmund, who are sitting second in the Bundesliga points table, have lost just one match (2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain) in their last six games across competitions, FC Schalke 04 sitting sixth in the table, have failed to win a single match in their last six and would be looking to turn the tables when they take to the field on Saturday.
In previous five Revierderby matches, FC Schalke 04 have come out on top twice whereas Dortmund have won only once with the other two games ending in a draw.
However, given the intensity of the rivalry between the two sides, a cracking match is expected as the world will be tuning in to witness some live football.
Borussia Dortmund: Burki; Piszczek, Hummels, Balerdi; Morey, Brandt, Delaney, Guerreiro; Sancho, Haaland, Hazard.
Schalke 04: Nubel; Kenny, Todibo, Nastasic, Oczipka; McKennie, Schopf, Serdar; Raman, Harit, Gregoritsch.