Bundesliga Preview: Schalke, Dortmund contest Ruhr derby
By Football News
Schalke will host the 83rd Ruhr derby in the Bundesliga when Borussia Dortmund visit the Veltins-Arena on Saturday.
Both sides have taken 10 points from their past five games in the Bundesliga but come into the game following differing fortunes in the UEFA Champions League against English opposition on Tuesday.
While Dortmund edged Arsenal 2-1 at Emirates Stadium, Schalke suffered their heaviest home defeat in the competition, losing 3-0 to Chelsea.
The two sides have won 29 derbies each from the 82 played, with Schalke victorious in the past two fixtures.
Both Jens Keller and Jurgen Klopp have been boosted by the return to fitness of key players.
While midfielders Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jermaine Jones have recovered from knee problems, goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand has shaken off back pain as well, although Marco Hoger looks set to miss the remainder of the season with a cruciate ligament tear.
"In spite of all the injuries we don't intend to go on about our bad luck or wallow in self-pity," Keller said on Monday.
"We have to accept the situation as it is. We've achieved some good results recently after all, even through we've missed several key players through injury."
Klopp was able to play Marco Reus and Nuri Sahin from the start against both Hannover and Arsenal although Ilkay Gundogan remains ruled out.
Dortmund can reclaim top spot with a draw against their local rivals but will need Bayern Munich to lose - something they have not done in the league this season.
Pep Guardiola's men host Hertha Berlin, whose impressive start to their Bundesliga return continued with a win over Borussia Monchengladbach last time out.
Sami Hyypia's Bayer Leverkusen are well placed to take advantage of any slip-ups from either Dortmund or Bayern as they host Augsburg at the BayArena.
At the bottom, Eintracht Braunschweig will fancy their chances of picking up a second league win of the season and potentially moving off the foot of the table when they take on Mainz.
It will be the first time the sides have met in the top flight and, although they have never beaten Mainz before, Thomas Tuchel's men have not won in six league games.
Freiburg and Nuremberg are the only sides in the division yet to win in the Bundesliga this season and will hope to end that against Hamburg and Stuttgart respectively.
It will be Gertjan Verbeek's first game in charge of Nuremberg, with the club not having tasted defeat against Stuttgart in their past four meetings.
Eintracht Frankfurt will pose a stern test for Borussia Monchengladbach, having not lost in five league games, while Hannover could move into the final Champions League place with a win over Hoffenheim.
Ninth meets 10th at the Volkswagen Arena as Wolfsburg welcome Werder Bremen.