Two months after its original scheduled date the Revierderby is finally set to happen. Dortmund and Schalke will have their classic clash in the Westfalenstadion, this time with no fans in the stands. While a derby without fans is not ideal it is better then no derby at all. Axel Witsel, Emre Can, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Marco Rues are all doubts to play due to injury.
Our lineup is going to have to change from our last game vs BMG due to injury. For the backline I think we will see Hummels alongside Manuel Akanji. Akanji has been quite bad all season but with no Zags or Can to fill in I can’t imagine we see another player in the backline with Mats. Favre had been playing a 3 back line lineup in our last few matches but Akanji seems ill suited to play that style. If we do go with the three back it would may be Mats-Akanji-Piz with Hakimi/Raph as wingbacks. If we see a four man backline, I’d assume it was Mats-Akanji as the central defenders with Raph and Hakimi/Piz as the fullbacks.
The midfield will be a tough choice for Favre with no Witrsel or Can. We will probably see Julian Brandt and Thomas Delaney play as a central midfielders here. They are our only true central midfielders remaining. I could see Giovanni Reyna playing in the midfield ahead of Brandt/Delaney in a more attacking role if we go with the four back lineup. We’ve so far only seen Reyna as a AM or winger so I can’t imagine Favre will play him as far back as Brandt will have to play. Instead of Reyna or Delaney we could see Raschl out there as a starting midfielder. Raschl has impressed in his very limited appearances with the first team. It would be great to at least get him a run out from the bench, especially since Favre has 5 subs. On the wings we should see Hazard and Sancho with Haaland up top. With no Reus this front three is a no brainer. If Sancho and Haaland are at their best this match it will be a easy victory for BVB. Sancho has the ability to change the game by himself. Since the Ruckrunde began he has been good for a goal or assist almost every game. Haaland is a worldy goal compilation generator and should be able to dice up this lethargic Schalke squad.
For Favre, using his 5 subs will be crucial this match. Favre has always been stingy with subs but the opportunity to change the entire gameplan. Due to the pandemic there is no way he could know how fit/prepared both his own players and Schalke’s players are. 5 subs will allow him entirely change how our team lines up. If the 3 back doesn’t work out Favre could easily make a 4 back lineup at half without expending later game fitness subs.
Schalke are in 6th place on the table but are a full 10 points behind 5th place Leverkusen. They have almost nothing left to play for this season but pride. Even when they are having a rough year they always manage to play at their best vs BVB. Our last match vs them in the fall ended 0-0 with 04 out shooting us 14-8. We were a much poorer team in October then we were in Feb/March so hopefully we can break the series tie. Schalke play a slow boring game and they will try to muck this game down, especially since both sides are lacking fitness. BVB will have to be smart about when to press Schalke off the ball and force mistakes. Our front three should rip apart Schalke on the break. We have more then doubled Schalkes goal output this season so far, all BVB need to do is let the game be open and we should come out on top.
What do you think the best lineup/gameplan is for the derby?