You won’t catch Bayern Munich supporters or staff cheering for Schalke very often, but this Saturday could be the exception.
Borussia Dortmund’s local rivals need points in their own right after a calamitous start to the season. But the even bigger prize on offer to Domenico Tedesco’s men is the pride of inflicting BVB’s first defeat of the Bundesliga season. As Dortmund’s defensive midfielder Thomas Delaney pointed out, form is meaningless before such a fixture.
“Schalke could be playing in the second division and it would still be a tough match,” Delaney told the local daily Ruhr Nachrichten , calling the Revierderby “one of the biggest games in Europe.”
It’s BVB’s biggest test in the Bundesliga since their 3-2 comeback win at home against Bayern Munich.
If Dortmund are the form side this season, it’s Schalke who got the better of their rivals in the previous campaign — with their first meeting dubbed the “derby of the century” in some circles. November’s match in Dortmund finished 4-4, and Schalke’s recovery was all the more stunning given that Dortmund had led 4-0 after 25 minutes. At the Veltins Arena, Schalke later beat Dortmund 2-0 en route to their second-place finish in the league. Brazilian defender Naldo scored in both games, including a stoppage-time equalizer in the November fight back.
There’s always pressure on derby day, but the two sides have one heck of a precedent from last season to live up to
“It will be a very difficult game. That’s…