It’s derbytime in the Ruhrpott and the most important game of the year is upon us. We all know about the importance of winning the Revierderby and the bragging rights that the winning side gets until the next match up. This notion is especially important for the local fans of each side and newly appointed coaches always get the same greeting on their first day of work from the fans: “It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you win the derby”.
However this derby is different from the most recent ones. This time around Schalke is actually ahead of Dortmund in the table and they are making positive headlines for once. Meanwhile the black and yellows are in terrible shape, slipped to the fifth spot in the table after not winning a Bundesliga game since September and in the Champions League they have accumulated a meager 2 points and have no chance of reaching the round of.
Peter Bosz has taken the brunt of the blame for Dortmund’s lack of form, deservedly so. During the pre-game press conference he acknowledged that his future with the club rides on this game. A win against the hated rivals could go a long way in restarting the season and buy Bosz a few more weeks in charge, such is the nature of the Revierderby.
In other words, if Dortmund lose this game, Bosz is almost certainly gone. Even a draw could lead to his sacking, considering the meeting of the clubs members is on Sunday and they will probably not react kindly to a spell of two months (!) without a Bundesliga win.
Furthermore the slew of injuries have complicated Bosz’ job. As we all know Marco Reus won’t be available, the same goes for Lukasz Piszczek and Sebastian Rode. In addition Roman Bürki, Sokratis and Christian Pulisic are all questionable for tomorrow’s game after picking up injuries during the week. Without them Dortmund could be in a lot of trouble.
Both teams are on a vastly different trajectory in recent weeks, so much so that Schalke should possibly even be considered favorites to win. Nevertheless this a game that has produced some incredible moments in the past. It’s a do or die game for the coach and maybe that’s exactly the kind of motivation this team needs.