After the premier class, BVB is facing the next highlight. Dortmund is favorite at Schalke. But Borussia has been warned. A possible Derby debutant formulates claims.
Sébastien Haller has long since grasped the electrifying atmosphere of the great Revier duel. The Dortmund striker is excited about his derby premiere with BVB at FC Schalke 04. “I think you don’t have to talk long to know how important this game is,” said Haller on Sky. Because of his testicular cancer he missed the first leg, this time nothing should come up.
His Borussia is the clear favorite in the 100th Bundesliga showdown between arch-rivals. Title aspirant against relegation candidate – what should go wrong? However, the signs before the meeting, which is also highly explosive from a police point of view, are not quite as clear.
“A few weeks ago everyone would have been talking about how high the result would be against us,” said Schalke coach Thomas Reis. “Now things have changed a bit.” Schalke, who were at the bottom of the table, have become a serious opponent. Two teams are still undefeated in the second half of the Bundesliga season: BVB and – yes – Schalke.
Sure, the Gelsenkircheners are still on a relegation zone. With so much euphoria, they haven’t gone into a game against BVB, which has rushed on many levels, for a long time – the market value of Dortmund star Jude Bellingham alone exceeds that of the entire Schalke squad. Six games without defeat and conceding just one goal have boosted the confidence of the Royal Blues players, officials and fans. In addition to their own fight for the class, the chance to annoy BVB in the title race against leaders FC Bayern Munich is appealing.
BVB clear favorite even without Brandt
“The derby has its own laws”, this sentence has been heard again and again around the Schalke Arena in recent days. “The past has shown that the team with the higher transfer market value doesn’t always win,” said goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann. “But those who have the necessary luck on their side and those who want more.”
Coach Reis also knows that Dortmund is the clear favorite on Saturday even without the outstanding and now injured exceptional talent Julian Brandt and possibly also without the questionable Marco Reus and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. “If Dortmund brings 100 percent and we bring 100 percent, it will be very, very difficult for us,” he said. “So it’s our job to make sure that Dortmund doesn’t get close to 100 percent.” This should succeed above all with “mentality”.
However, BVB also showed this recently, winning tight games with a lot of commitment. The Champions League defeat at Chelsea on Tuesday (0: 2) was the first setback after ten competitive wins in a row. “We left the frustration in London. The derby comes at exactly the right moment,” said BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl and coach Edin Terzic emphasized: “We’re definitely ready for the derby. We’ll throw everything in.”
Terzic promotes a peaceful football festival
Like Schalke and the police before them in an open letter to the fans, the 40-year-old also campaigned for a peaceful football festival. “We hope that it will be non-violent,” said Terzic. In terms of sport, his team will “do everything to return to Dortmund as winners”.
In order for this to succeed, it will also be important for his team not to get too involved in a fighting game in the heated atmosphere at Schalke, but to show their footballing superiority. Terzic wants to take the Schalke “energy” away from BVB’s possession of the ball.
The role that center forward Haller can play was not revealed by the coach on Friday. The 28-year-old, with whom Terzic pays close attention to the load control after his illness, explained with a laugh that he would not accept a bench seat in the derby. His coach likes this attitude. “I think it’s very good when the boys don’t accept that,” said Terzic.
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