The Bundesliga is back this weekend, bringing with it one of the biggest fixtures on the calendar as Dortmund take on Schalke in the Revierderby. The hosts will be looking to keep the pressure on Bayern Munich, while the visitors will be looking to put a dent in their rivals’ title hopes.
The Revierderby we’re about to witness will be unlike any other we’ve seen before as it’s the first one to take place behind closed doors. Under normal circumstances, this match would be played in front of 81,000 roaring fans, however this Saturday will be a far more hushed affair.
Before the league’s postponement, Dortmund had notched 4 Bundesliga wins on the bounce, with the most recent being a 2-1 away win against rival title challengers Borussia Mönchengladbach. Dortmund’s last competitive match was a 2-1 defeat in Paris that saw them crash out of the Champions League. That match was played behind closed doors, so Dortmund are the only of the two sides to have experienced fanless football. While the lengthy postponement may have halted Dortmund’s momentum, we can surely expect a goal or two from super-signing Erling Haaland who has scored 12 in his first 11 matches since joining the club in January.
Before a global pandemic ground the Bundesliga to sudden halt, things were not looking good for the Royal Blues. Schalke had started the season well under new manager David Wagner, however things took a dramatic downturn in February and March, as they went 7 league games without a win before the postponement. That run of 7 included some extremely unflattering scorelines, including two 5-0 hammerings – one at home to RB Leipzig and one away at Bayern Munich. Despite their recent run of bad form, Schalke still sit in 6th place, leading what looks set to be a 4 team dogfight for that second European spot.
If you look at the stats, recent history doesn’t show much between these two rivals. There have been 19 Revierderbies since 2011, of which Schalke have won 5 and Dortmund 6, with the other 8 games ending in a draw. Schalke will remember this same fixture last year very well, as the Miners turned over the Black & Yellows 4-2 on their own patch. The two sides’ first league meeting this season was a startlingly different story to the previous goalfest, with the Revier rivals playing out a drab 0-0 in the Veltins-Arena back in October of last year.
With our betting tip for this one, we’ve had to look beyond recent form and the head-to-head stats as there’s also an unscheduled 9 week break and the absence of fans to take into account. On top of this, we’ve also carefully considered Dortmund’s mounting injury list.
Despite Dortmund’s potential injuries and the absence of the Yellow Wall, we’re still backing the home side to get the better of their rivals in the Revierderby this weekend.
Although home advantage doesn’t count as much in fanless games, the signs still point to Dortmund winning on Saturday, but by a fairly slim margin. Dortmund haven’t failed to score at home this season, and even with Reus ruled out and Sancho in doubt, we’re banking on Dortmund grabbing one or two goals this weekend, especially with wonderkid Erling Haadland still fit.
Dortmund have won their past 3 home league games to nil this season and we expect that trend to continue against a Schalke side who have struggled to find the net recently. Despite suffering two heavy losses before the break, David Wagner has largely made Schalke difficult to break down since coming in this season, so we don’t expect Dortmund to thrash their rivals. With everything in mind, our betting tip this week is a home win with under 2.5 goals at odds of 10/3 with Bet365.