| Borussia Dortmund
||vs|| Schalke 04
ScheduleSaturday, 28 February 2015 at 13:30 GMT / 13:30 UK / 19:00 IST
Next Saturday, 28th of February 2015, the former European champions, Borussia Dortmund, will entertain their neighbours and rivals of Schalke 04 at Westfalenstadion for round 23 of the Bundesliga. The Rivierderby is always a match with an unpredictable outcome and this season will certainly be no different, with both teams battling for the three points until the referee’s final whistle.
After their home defeat against Augsburg earlier this month, Borussia Dortmund’s manager, Jürgen Kloop, has finally managed to rally his troops and the team embarked on a very decent streak of three consecutive wins for Bundesliga matches. An inspired 3-0 win at Freiburg served as a catalyst for Dortmund to start their recovery and offered the team that extra humpf of motivation they had been lacking for quite some time. A 4-2 win over Mainz and an excellent 3-2 away win at Stuttgart allowed Dortmund to climb several places on the league table and they currently occupy the 12th place, three points above the relegation zone. Apart from the wins the team has snatched, the quality levels of Dortmund’s performances have also increased drastically. Klopp seems to have finally found the way for recovering his players’ motivation levels and now they have everything in place to extend their excellent win row.
Dortmund’s defeat against Juventus for the UEFA Champions League last Tuesday night might, however, have a negative effect on the team’s recent good form. Der BVB didn’t manage to withstand Juventus' powerful attacking movements and ended up conceding two goals on two somehow childish defensive mistakes. Dortmund’s left back Schmelzer and their goalkeeper Weidenfeller didn’t have the best of nights, as they contributed for Juventus’ goals.
The upcoming derby will certainly not be an easy match for Dortmund to win, given, above all else, the rivalry between both sides. For that particular clash, Jürgen Kloop will probably still not be able to rely on the services of Durm, Grosskreutz, Blaszczykowski and Dudziak, all currently sidelined due to injury.
As for Schalke, the miners are currently not going through the best of times, as they've failed to win their last three official matches. Last weekend, Schalke 04 didn’t manage to get anything better than a draw against a Werder Bremen who are enjoying a superb moment, but who only grabbed the equalizer at Gelsenkirchen on injury time.
For the upcoming derby, Roberto Di Matteo will probably still not be able to rely on the contribution of Draxler, Giefer, Farfan, Obasi and Fahrmann, who are currently sidelined due to injury, and of Huntelaar, who is still suspended.
It is hard to name any favourites on a predictably intense match such as this, although and given both sides' recent performances, it is fair to offer Dortmund slight favouritism for the upcoming Rivierderby.
Stats: W-3 L-2 D-0
Recent Form - LWWWL
Stats: W-1 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - DLLWD
Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1) - Weidenfeller - Ginter - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer - Sahin - Gundogan - Mkhitaryan - Kagawa - Reus - Aubameyang
Schalke 04 (3-1-4-2) - Wellenreuther - Aogo - Höwedes - Nastasic - Neustädter - Fuchs - Boateng - Meyer - Höger - Sam - Choupo-Moting