Borussia Dortmund will look to cement their dominance on the Bundesliga season so far by registering a crucial win at the home of their Ruhr rivals, Schalke. This is our Big Game Focus.
Schalke have not lost a match against their arch enemies Borussia Dortmund in each of their last five encounters, going back to April 2016. They however have their work cut out for them if they are to continue that run, as they come up against a Dortmund side in their best form for years.
Lucien Favre’s men are leading the Bundesliga standings by seven points. They are now the heavy favourites to win the title, considering that defending champions Bayern Munich are fourth and nine points behind.
We bring you some betting advice, team news and predicted line-ups for the crucial match.
Both Teams to Score (BTTS) has occurred in Schalke’s last four matches, five of the last eight for Dortmund in the Bundesliga and in four of the last six encounters between the two sides. With a relatively intense derby rivalry coming into play as well, odds of 1.55 for Both Teams to Score look promising.
Only one of Schalke’s last five matches has failed to feature at least three goals. There have been more than 2.5 Goals in seven of the last nine league matches for the visitors. Bet on Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.70.
Paco Alcácer’s impressive first season at the Signal Iduna Park has seen him bag 11 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions so far. He has ten in the league, a record that is only two shy of Kylian Mbappe, who leads the charts in that regard. All of this is made even more impressive by the fact that he is often played as a substitute. Back him as Anytime Goalscorer for odds of 2.15.
Schalke have to deal with a crisis up front, as they are likely to be without forwards Breel Embolo, Mark Uth, Cedric Touchert and Franco Di Santo. 20-year old US striker Haji Wright only made his first start for Schalke in last week’s 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, and could keep his spot.
Centre-back Dan-Axel Zagadou was taken off in the first of half of BVB’s 2-0 win over Freiburg with an injury last week. The French teenager had really began to cement his spot in Favre’s side but will now likely be replaced by Turkish Ömer Toprak.
Schalke: Fährmann; Stambouli, Sane, Nastastic; Caligiuri, Rudy, McKennie, Bentaleb, Mendyl; Harit; Wright
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki; Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Hakimi; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Reus (c), Bruun Larsen; Götze