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Dortmund v Schalke (Sat 2.30pm)
“We have to win now. We just have to win,” said Dortmund coach Peter Bosz ahead of Schalke’s visit. That has been the message from the fans too, whose biggest concern is just beating their arch-rivals.
Bosz might need to worry about his position though, having gone from making the best Bundesliga start in the club’s history with 19 points in 7 games to then slipping behind Schalke in the table last weekend after a wretched run.
Schalke were missing talisman Leon Goretzka once again against Hamburg but Domenico Tedesco’s side were still comfortable enough in their 2-0 win.
The Royal Blues are now unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and Tedesco’s tactical nous has been praised by punters and players alike.
His decision to move Max Meyer into a deep lying midfield role has worked out very well – a move that epitomises how Tedesco has searched to find the best system for the team that he has available.
Bosz on the other hand, with one win in nine in all competitions, has come under pressure for a lack of tactical flexibility. Dortmund showed signs of life in the first half of their defeat to Spurs but if they put in a performance on Saturday like they did after the break, they’ll lose again on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to break his eight-hour goal drought on Tuesday and he’s had a thing in the past for firing in the derby.
Even with the injuries they have to Sokratis, Christian Pulisic and Marco Reus to name three, Dortmund boast a better squad than Schalke. Still the home side’s lack of confidence might count for more on Saturday.
- Correct score: Dortmund 1, Schalke 2 (7-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Konoplyanka (11-1, Unibet)
- Schalke double chance (107-100, Unibet)
Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich (Sat 5.30pm)
Bayern made it nine wins out of nine since Jupp Heynckes came back with a 2-1 win over Anderlecht on Wednesday night.
Yet it was the worst performance they have given under their new/old coach, with goalkeeper Sven Ulreich coming to the rescue on several occasions.
Most worryingly for Bayern, Thiago was subbed off with a muscular injury just before half-time and is now set to be out for a couple of months. Arjen Robben also picked up an injury but that will just keep him out of this weekend’s visit to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Gladbach sit fourth in the Bundesliga table but that doesn’t reflect how hit and miss they’ve been so far this season. They have in fact taken more points away from home (11) than they have at the Borussia Park this season.
Whilst captain Lars Stindl has been in top form for both club and country, they’ve struggled defensively whenever they’ve been put under sustained spells of pressure. As Kicker magazine pointed out this week, they miss the presence of Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen at the back since his return to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Bayern have not always had the best of times at the Borussia Park in the past few years but even with the current injuries they’re facing, Gladbach’s defensive fragility is likely to prove more decisive than their own shortcomings at the back.
- Correct score: Gladbach 1, Bayern 2 (7-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Coman (15-2, Unibet)
- Bayern win (1-2, Unibet)
Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.