The Ruhr derby takes centre stage in Germany this weekend as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke do battle on Saturday.
Both teams are currently in the midst of strong league run’s but will head into the game with contrasting midweek form.
Dortmund, currently second in the Bundesliga table after 7 wins and a draw from their opening nine games will head into the game full of confidence following their 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Champions League.
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Schalke, suffered their heaviest Champions league defeat ever when they lost 3-0 to Chelsea midweek and currently sit fifth in the league table having lost three games already.
Jens Keller’s side have the worst defensive record of any team in the top 10 with 19 goals already conceded although they have shown improvements in recent weeks with wins over Augsburg and Eintracht Braunschwieger moving them up the standings.
Schalke have also won the last two derby meetings between the sides and despite their difficult start a third successive win on Saturday would see them move into the top four.
However they will come up against a Dortmund and in particular their manager Jurgen Kloop keen to avenge both defeats last season.
Klopp revealed that the derby defeats hurt more than losing out to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and the final of the UEFA Champions League.
“When you sign a contract at Borussia Dortmund, the first thing you learn is that there are 32 Bundesliga games and two derbies,” he said.
“The results last year hurt me the most. If we had played better, the results would have been better. Those defeats are the dark clouds over our last campaign, which, even without a title, was still pretty good otherwise.”
Schalke will head into the game with a number of injury concerns with key midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, the catalyst for the upturn in fortunes on the field, a doubt with a knee injury while Anthony Annan, Chinedu Obasi, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Marco Hoger and Jefferson Farfan are also unavailable.
Dortmund meanwhile will be boosted by the potential return of midfielder Sebastian Kehl but midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and defender Lukas Piszczek miss out.