The last six months or so have been pretty difficult for Borussia Dortmund. We’ve seen Bundesliga disappointment, Champions League Disappointment, Europa League Disappointment, DFB Cup disappointment, Der Klassiker disappointment and ok, I think I’ll stop. Watching Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool reach the semifinal has made it all BVB’s mediocrity under new management all the more unsatisfying. You know what this club really needs? A good old-fashioned beatdown of an archrival.
Hey, look, it’s Schalke!
That’s right, it’s time for the Revierderby: the match that excites local Dortmund fans more than any other, and prompts foreign BVB fans everywhere to clamor about how much they hate a club that probably crosses their minds twice a year. Hey, if it gives us a chance to call people “smurfs”, then it’s good enough for me!
Unfortunately Schalke are, well, good. As it turns out, Gazprom money can work wonders if it’s spent the right way. Guido Burgstaller leads the line and has 10 goals and 3 assists. Daniel Caliguri has been a stalwart of production in Schalke’s midfield. Veteran center-back Naldo has stabilized Schalke’s back line, and has scored 5 goals from set pieces, tied with Salomon Kalou for the most in the league. Schalke are currently second in the league and have amassed some impressive results, most notably a comeback from being down 4-0 against some club managed by some Dutch guy.
BVB got some of its mojo back with a 3-0 win against Stuttgart last weekend. With Philipp, Pulisic, Reus, and Batshuayi all healthy, Stöger has a plethora of attacking options. Unfortunately, Schalke have been a tough cookie to crack, and BVB’s offense could best be described as “anemic” under Peter Stöger. Schalke has the stronger midfield, so BVB might need to play long-balls or counter-attack to get something out of tomorrow’s match.
Prediction: BVB 2-2 Schalke
Do I want BVB to win? Yes. Do I think they will? No. BVB will probably still be short on confidence after Der Massiker, and the Veltins Arena will be jumping. I’m not hopeful for this one, folks.