It’s back. It’ll feel completely different, and the world has turned upside down, but it’s back. Today at 2.30, all over Germany, the whistles that start Bundesliga games will mark the return of top level football in Europe after a break of more than two months due to the pandemic.
It’s a blessing to have the action back, and we start with a mouth-watering game in the shape of Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – the Revierderby, no less – but a huge amount has changed here. Home venues will be used for the remainder of the Bundesliga, but they will obviously be behind closed doors, which is a massive change especially for German football, where the atmosphere can play such a big role. Also, we are dealing with teams that haven’t seen a competitive game for over two months – whilst everyone is in the same boat, some players may adapt to new conditions better than others.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04
BT Sport 1 HD / Bet365
HEAD TO HEAD
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
OCT 2019 BUNDESLIGA Schalke 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
APR 2019 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Schalke
DEC 2018 BUNDESLIGA Schalke 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
APR 2018 BUNDESLIGA Schalke 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
NOV 2017 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 4-2 Schalke
APR 2017 BUNDESLIGA Schalke 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
OCT 2016 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Schalke
APR 2016 BUNDESLIGA Schalke 2-2 Borussia Dortmund
NOV 2015 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Schalke
DEC 2015 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Schalke
Dortmund’s position as favourites is understandable. Second in the table behind Bayern Munich, they lie 14 points ahead of Schalke in the table. Now recent form obviously can’t be taken as gospel, but there is precedent for a break in play as the Bundesliga has a gap in the winner. Dortmund won seven of their eight contests from the restart of the Bundesliga in January, whilst Schalke went seven games without victory.
However, Schalke have a good Derby record (only lost one of their last eight games against Dortmund) and they’ve also only actually lost six of their 25 league matches this season, so piling in on the hosts at 1/2 holds no appeal, especially when one takes into account Dortmund’s absences with Axel Witsel, Emre Can, Nico Schulz and Marco Reus all set to miss this return.
Finding a confident angle in is difficult but it might be best to look for goals – Dortmund had scored 68 before the season had stopped and are habitually high scorers who will be able to call upon Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and Thorgan Hazard even with midfield absences. The odds on price for Dortmund doesn’t make any appeal but they should be able to create chances and score goals – the 6/5 on Borussia Dortmund to score over 0.5 goals and over 6.5 Borussia Dortmund corners could be worth a small bet.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Borussia Dortmund to score over 0.5 goals and over 6.5 Borussia Dortmund corners 2 pts at 6/5 with starsports.bet
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 173.53 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Cameron Brown Football Bets)