In the table, arch rivals are currently separating worlds. But even the enormous advantage and the previous dominance can not mislead the hurried Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund before the showdown at FC Schalke 04 to pithy comments. "It's going to be a very close game, you do not have to be a prophet," said BVB managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke before the 153rd competing derby on Saturday (15:30 in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky) in the Veltins Arena.
The starting position is as clear as never before. The unbeaten after 13 matchdays Borussia goes with 19 points ahead of the crashed runner-up in the prestigious game. The gap between the teams before a first-round duel was never that big. Nevertheless, BVB professional Marcel Schmelzer points out what really decides about victory or defeat. "It does not matter in the derby which place the teams occupy. It depends primarily on how much you want to win this game. "
That is one of the reasons why sporting director Michael Zorc warns: "Schalke have the opportunity to put a lot back on a game. We need to know that. "The memory of the last duel in mid-April is still fresh, when BVB let themselves be dealt 0: 2 with a dispassionate appearance on Schalke. Also the felt defeat at the legendary 4: 4 after 4: 0-half-time-tour at home is the Borussia still a reminder. "The crazy game is unfortunately still very present. Until recently, it has always been the successful derby moments that I remembered. This has been somewhat overshadowed since last year, "Zorc said.
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco is undefeated in his two meetings with his neighbors. "I like the balance. I would like to draw that after Saturday, "said the 33-year-old in an interview with the Funke Mediengruppe (Friday). After all, his team has fought back after the depressing start with five defeats in the season, albeit with little glamorous appearances: Since the sixth matchday brought only four teams more counters than the Royal Blues (14).
Not least because Tedesco sees "in the derby no outsider and no favorite" and his eleven by no means chance. "We will do everything we can to make the game successful. And if we look at how prevalently stable we were last time, that also gives us courage. "Unlike in earlier times, the protagonists with taunts and brainstorming back. The once often hostile atmosphere is characterized by mutual respect. "The Dortmund make that really good," said Tedesco, who even praised the purchasing policy of the rival. "You have to admit that your transfers worked well. They made a great start to the season, stayed strong and found the right solutions in many situations. "
Also sports director Christian Heidel accepts the current dominance of the opponent before the 93rd Bundesliga duel and trusts Borussia the title win. "BVB has a great run and the question will be whether it stabilizes at this top level. Then it will be very difficult for Bayern. "
Nevertheless, it would be a satisfaction for Schalke, of all things in the derby to stop the triumphal march of BVB, to spoil the possible autumn championship and finally to ensure a mood change in their own camp. That the rival is still unbeaten, makes for Heidel an additional charm: "We hope to teach Dortmund the first defeat."
BVB coach Lucien Favre can muster in the Revier derby probably his best team, only the use of center-back Dan-Axel Zagadou (Fußstauchung) is questionable. His colleague Tedesco, on the other hand, has to replace the four offensive forces Mark Uth, Breel Embolo, Franco Di Santo and Cedric Teuchert. However, the injured Guido Burgstaller and Steven Skrybski should be fit in time.