The Bundesliga returns this weekend with Borussia Dortmund playing host to Schalke in the Revierderby at the Signal Iduna Park.
Normally, around 80,000 screaming fans would be in attendance for one of Germany’s fiercest rivalries, but to the recent Covid-19 pandemic all matches will be played behind closed doors until further notice.
When the Bundesliga was postponed, Borussia Dortmund occupied second place on the league ladder with 51 points, they trailed league leaders Bayern Munich by four. Their recent form saw them win four matches in succession against Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen, Freiburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.
All eyes had been on Dortmund since the start of 2020 when they acquired the services of talented striker Erling Haland. The Norwegian cost €20 from Salzburg and he has already paid a large chunk of that fee back. The son of former Leeds United and Manchester City star Alf-Inge has already scored nine goals in eight appearances.
Schalke, on the other hand, are in sixth form with a points tally of 37 from their 25 matches. They will be hoping that this extended break will have been beneficial in terms of finding their form again. Their last win in Bundesliga was way back in January when they defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 at the VELTINS-Arena with Suat Serdar and Michael Gregoritsch grabbing second half goals.
Since that win they have played seven matches and picked up four draws and three defeats. They will be looking to catch Dortmund a little bit off guard if they are to take all three points in this one.
When you look through both teams, you can see the gulf in class with Dortmund’s squad compared to Schalke’s. That’s not being disrespectful. Dortmund are a massive club and they have the resources available to attract some of the best players in the world.
Alongside Haland, they have Englishman Jadon Sancho who is attracting a lot of interest from Premier League clubs back in England. It is interesting to note that Haland and Sancho have nine and five goals in the Bundesliga respectively in 2020, while Schalke have only scored four as a team in the same period.
Normally, we would be saying that Dortmund’s form is impressive and they will be too strong for Schalke as the visitors cannot buy a win, but these are unprecedented times and we don’t know how training has been going because no-one is allowed to see anything.
Despite all this, it would be difficult to back against Dortmund winning this game. What will be interesting is how they perform without their vocal support, maybe now we will see how influential supporters really are for their teams.
Saying all that, if you are having a bet on this game this weekend, I would definitely put Dortmund down as a winner on my coupon. I would also back Haland to score the opening goal and Sancho to get on the score sheet at any time during the 90 minutes.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke Betting Tips:
Borussia Dortmund to win – 8/15 William Hill
Erling Haland to score first goal – 14/5 Unibet
Jadon Sancho anytime goal scorer – 5/4 Betfair
Borussia Dortmund to win to nil – 6/4 GentingBet
However, it is always a good idea to check the forecasts on a good site before placing a bet.