After two months without any action, the Bundesliga is finally back and it promises us an enthralling encounter.
Usually this match would have over 80,000 pairs of eyes watching Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 play at Signal Iduna Park, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the fixture will be played behind closed doors.
With nine games left for play, the both teams have their eyes on the European tournaments. Borussia Dortmund are currently on the second place of the Bundesliga table as they are only four points behind the leaders Bayern Munich.
Schalke 04 on the other hand have to put a lot of effort to guarantee a place in the European tournaments as they are currently sixth in the table with ten points difference with Bayer Leverkusen on fifth.
Last season Schalke 04 had a disappointing campaign as they were in a relegation battle for large parts of the season.
‘The Royal Blues’ ended in 14th place, but they were only five points away from the relegation zone.
Due to their terrible performance, Schalke appointed the former Huddersfield coach David Wagner as their new manager and that has given them the much-needed boost.
Wagner started very well with the team, but his recent performances right before the season was suspended have been somewhat underwhelming as they have failed to win their last six games.
Borussia on the other hand, have been in a good shape before the suspension of the league, as they managed to get 12 points in their last 5 games.
Favre’s side are looking to keep up the chase with Bayern Munich. This season Dortmund are having one of the best attacking forces in the Bundesliga, as they have Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Thorgan Hazard.
Jadon Sancho has a great season so far as he has 14 goals and 15 assists. Erling Haaland has joined Borussia in the January transfer window and since then the 19-year-old has scored 9 goals in eight games.
However, Borussia Dortmund will have to go without some of their key players for today's game, despite there has not been any action since March.
Lucien Favre confirmed that Emre Can and Axel Witsel will not play today, as both players have suffered muscular injuries in the weeks prior to the derby.
Marco Reus, who is the team captain will also miss the game. Dan-Axel Zagadou will also be on the sidelines, while Nico Schulz is unlikely to be in condition for the match.
Schalke 04 on the other hand are more fortunate as they will be without only three player for today.
Benjamin Stambouli, midfielder Omar Mascarell and centre-back Ozan Kabak are the players who will miss out the game.
After two months without football it is hard to predict how the game will end especially when there are not going to be any supporters to the stadium.
With empty stadiums and the unknown match fitness of the players, it is hard to know what to expect for the derby today.