All eyes will be on the restart of the German Bundesliga this weekend as it is set to become the first major European league to return to action following the global pandemic.
Among those fixtures set to take place feature the Revier Derby, which is held between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
Before the postponement of the league, Lucien Favre’s Dortmund team were sitting four points behind reigning champions Bayern Munich and will be looking to close the gap to just a single point before their title rivals play Union Berlin on Sunday.
Since David Wagner took over at Schalke, the former Huddersfield Town and Dortmund coach has turned them from potential relegation candidates to Champions League hopefuls.
The team known as the Royal Blues, however, come into this one on a poor run of form having not won a Bundesliga match since the middle of January and suffered 5-0 losses against the likes of Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
The last match Dortmund played was their Champions League match against Paris Saint Germain, where the ultimately suffered a 4-2 aggregate loss. They did win their last league match at Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 on the 7 March.
Previous successes and meetings
Dortmund have had the most recent success out of the two clubs having won five Bundesliga titles, the latest coming during Jurgen Klopp’s reign in 2011/12. Schalke, meanwhile have not won the German Bundesliga since it was reformed in 1962 with their last of seven national titles coming in 1958.
In total there has been 19 Bundesliga previous matches between these rivals, seven have been won by Dortmund compared to Schalke’s five and there have also been seven draws including a 0-0 draw in the last match between the sides back in October.
Schalke do however boast an impressive recent record against this season’s title challengers having just lost once in their last five matches against them.
Indeed, the Royal Blues won the last encounter between the sides at The Westfalenstadion 4-2 in a dramatic match that subsequently saw Dortmund reduced to nine men.
In their 2019/20 campaign so far, Schalke have certainly struggled for goals but two of their young midfielders, Moroccan international, Amine Harit, 22 and German Suat Serdar, 23 have enjoyed impressive seasons to date.
Serdar is the Royal Blues top scorer currently with seven league goals, while Harit has managed six goals and four assists in 24 appearances this season.
The Royal Blues also boast England under-21 international, Jonjoe Kenny in their ranks. Kenny is currently on loan from Everton and the right back will certainly be in for a tough afternoon.
Kenny and his team will be tasked with keeping two of the most prolific and highly regarded attackers in Europe quiet. England winger, Jadon Sancho is Dortmund’s top scorer with 14 goals so far, while January signing Erling Haaland has already managed nine goals in just eight appearances for the club.
Dortmund Club Captain, Marco Reus meanwhile has also reached double figures this season with 11 goals.
Where to watch?
BT Sport will be showing every game live on TV and online this weekend.
Dortmund versus Schalke will be shown on BT Sport 1 HD from 2pm BST.
Dortmund 4-1 win
We are anticipating goals in this one but ultimately we believe that Dortmund will have too much firepower for Wagner’s Royal Blues with both Sancho and Haaland proving to be the difference between the teams.