Football is back at Signal Iduna Park after a three-week absence, and there’s no bigger game than the visit of Schalke, who sit top of the table and have a 100% record in their Europa League group. A year ago, Schalke came to town and were sent packing with BVB five-up at the break before adding to the tally late on in an eventual 6-0 win.
Felipe Santana, who scored twice in that win, is out with a serious back strain, and Stevan Jovetic remains to be unavailable as he recovers from a rib injury, but the rest of the squad have reported fit and well after the midweek win in Warsaw. Fans are expecting the side to remain the same, with Götze behind Schieber and Lewandowski.
Schalke sit atop the table ahead of the Saturday fixtures, ahead of Wolfsburg and Stuttgart on goal difference, aided by winning five in a row in the league without conceding, though they have only picked up one point in their last two matches.
They’ll be without the suspended Lewis Holtby and Kyriakos Papadopolous after both were dismissed in their 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim, while David Ospina is out with a broken finger and Jefferson Farfán is doubtful as he recovers from a rib injury.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar grabbed his eighteenth goal of the season for club and country in the closing seconds of their win over Sion in the Europa League on Thursday, and he’s understandably singled-out by BVB legend Lars Ricken as their main threat.
Schalke were tonked here 6-0 last year, and BVB won 3-2 away from home with Ivan Perisic scoring a stunning winner after Schalke had levelled after being two-down inside the opening ten minutes. The side ultimately missed out on Champions League football on goal difference as they failed to win any of their last eight games.
Schalke manager Ernesto Valverde took a laid-back approach in his pre-match press conference, saying that if Grayson “wants to win the title his side have to go out and beat the big teams.” Valverde joined the club at the start of the season, replacing Huub Stevens who took the Dutch managerial vacancy.
Tomorrow’s referee will be Jochen Drees from Bad Kreuznach who took charge of four Dortmund matches last season, wins at home over Hannover and Gladbach, as well as the win in Köln and the defeat at Wolfsburg. He was in the middle for Schalke’s 1-0 win over Bayern Munich last month.
If we perform like we did on Tuesday, then we should get the result we want. We’ll thrive under the incredible hunger of our fans to win. I don’t think it’ll harm our plan if there’s a bit of edge on Sunday.
FRI 24 OCTOBER: NÜRNBERG 1-1 WERDER BREMEN Hlousek 24 Chibuike 12 SAT 25 OCTOBER: AUGSBURG 4-2 HERTHA BERLIN Edu 26, (pen) 45+2 Lasogga 7 Oehrl 44, 71 Ronny (pen) 17 BAYERN MUNICH 4-0 SC FREIBURG Hernanes 2 Robben 29, (pen) 36 Ríbery 31 FSV MAINZ 1-0 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT Steinsson 81 HAMBURGER SV 2-0 VFL WOLFSBURG Bellarabi 19, 39 SUN 26 OCTOBER: BAYER LEVERKUSEN - HANNOVER 96 BORUSSIA DORTMUND - SCHALKE BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH - VFB STUTTGART