Dortmund vs Schalke: Germany’s Ruhr derby set to heat up Europe
The industrial Ruhr region of Germany will grind to a halt this evening as the region’s biggest and most successful teams, Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 clash at Dortmund’s Signa Iduna park in this season’s first Ruhr derby and the Bundesliga’s 89th.
Yellow-and-black versus royal blue; the city of Dortmund against Gelsenkirchen; No other derby in Germany electrifies and polarises as much the clash of the Ruhr powerhouses in the “Revierderby”. The fixture is one of the most passionately contested in world football and it means more to each set of fans than any other fixture on the football calendar as both teams are just about 32 kilometres apart.
Borussia Dortmund have a slight edge over their rivals in the Bundesliga’s head to head meetings with thirty-two wins to Schalke’s thirty, but in overall meetings between both sides, Schalke have fifty-eight wins to Dortmund’s fifty-one. The home team will go into this fixture with the bragging rights as they are unbeaten in the last three Ruhr derbies and generally have been the more successful of both clubs in recent times. However, they have been on a run of three games without a win in the league and have never gone four games without a win under Thomas Tuchel and wouldn’t want to begin now.
They have been having a horrid time with injury and will still be unable to call on the likes of Subotic, Guerreiro, Bender, Durm, Reus and Schmelzer, while teenage sensation, Emre Mor will serve the second match of his suspension for the red card he picked up against Hertha Berlin. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed their match in midweek with a calf problem but is expected to recover in time for today’s match.
Schalke seem to have recovered from their disastrous start to the season when they lost their first five matches, as they have picked up seven points from their last three games and will be looking for a win against their biggest rival to fully set their season in motion. They also picked up a win against Nurnburg in a very tough DFB Pokal game on Wednesday, to further boost their confidence heading into the derby.
Nabil Bentaleb grabbed a brace in last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Mainz and the 21 year old Algerian, who is on loan from Tottenham, seems to be growing into his role at the heart of Schalke’s midfield, much to the pleasure of coach Markus Weinzierl and the 41 year old gaffer would be hoping for another stellar performance from the Algerian this evening. Another player that Weinzerl will be placing a lot of hope on will be Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has scored more goals than any other current Schalke player in the Ruhr derbies with five.
This game promises to be very intense and action packed with a lot to play for and be rest assured to be thoroughly entertained as a neutral as you enjoy the match. You can also place your bets on the outcome of the match at www.nairabet.com.
For fans of the English premier league, there will be a mouth watering clash this weekend when Tottenham take on Leicester City in a fixture that will pit the main title contenders from last season against each other. Tottenham ran Leicester City close for the title last season only to capitulate badly at the last minute that their city rivals Arsenal were able to leapfrog them and take the runners up spot. This season, the Spurs can still be regarded as title contenders as they are just a point off the leading pack, while same cannot be said about their opponents, who are having a poor defence to their title this campaign with only three wins from nine games played so far.
Tottenham are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league and would want to keep it that way at the lane today, however they have been winless in their last four games in all competitions, which includes Tuesday’s loss to Liverpool in the League Cup. Harry Kane is back in training, but this game might be too soon for the striker, while Toby Alderweireld is set to feature after being forced off in the 1-1 draw with West Brom last weekend.
Leicester City’s away form has been dire so far this season with four losses from four games and they need to start picking up points away from home if they hope to finish in the top half of the table. Today’s game seems like a very unlikely one for their away fortunes to change, but if the foxes can find their spirit from last season, they should be able to come away with something from white hart lane.
Serie A fans worldwide will be in for a good time this evening as bitter rivals Juventus and Napoli clash at Juventus Stadium in a match featuring north vs south, and due to the animosity between fans, Napoli supporters will not be allowed to attend.
The rivalry has intensified in recent years and it was made more painful for the Partenopei last season when they were in pole position to end their 26-year wait for a Scudetto, only to suffer a collapse and watch Juventus overtake them on their way to a fifth straight title. To rub insult to that injury, the Old Lady lured Napoli’s goal merchant Gonzalo Higuain, who plundered in an incredible 36 goals in 35 league games last season, to Turin with a promise of silverware much to the chagrin of passionate Napoli supporters in Italy and around the world.
Both teams will come into this game following wins from their last league games in midweek. Juventus thrashed Sampdoria 4-1, while Napoli beat Empoli by two goals to nothing. A victory for Napoli will help them cut Juve’s four point lead to just one, while a win for the Turin giants will see them extend their lead over Napoli to seven points.
There will be another massive derby in Europe today, the Eastern part, when Russian power houses, Spartak Moscow hosts neighbours CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League. Spartak are the form team going into this game with two wins on the bounce including an important win away at Ural last weekend to keep them top of the table and will want to make it three out of three when they host CSKA at home this weekend. CSKA, who are still smarting from last weekend’s derby defeat to Lokomotiv, will do everything possible to avoid a second consecutive derby defeat and if recent results against Sparta are anything to go by, they will be confident of achieving that.
Dutch winger Quincy Promes is currently undergoing individual training in order to fully recover from his foot injury and he is still in doubt for Sparta to be involved in today’s derby, while Alan Dzagoev is yet to recover from his long term muscle injury and may not be available for third placed CSKA today. There are very good odds on www.nairabet.com for the different possible outcomes of this game.
As usual I will be leaving you guys with betting tips on twenty-five football fixtures across Europe this weekend to serve as a guide. You can pick the ones you want or combine all twenty-five in different ways to make your pot larger.
Sunderland v Arsenal (Arsenal win)
Manchester United v Burnley (Man Utd win)
West Brom v Manchester City (Double chance for Man City)
SERIE A (Italy)
Juventus v Napoli (Double chance for Juventus)
AC Milan v Perscara (AC Milan win)
Empoli v Roma (Double chance for Roma)
Augsburg v Bayern Munich (Bayern win)
Darmstadt v Leipzig (Double chance for Leipzig)
Cologne v Hamburg (Double chance for Cologne)
LA LIGA (Spain)
Alaves v Real Madrid (Madrid win)
Atletico Madrid v Malaga (Atletico win)
Barcelona v Granada (Barcelona win)
LIGUE 1 (France)
Nice v Nantes (Double chance for Nice)
Rennes v Metz (Double chance for Rennes)
Guingamp v Angers (Double chance for Guingamp)
PRIMEIRA LIGA (Portugal)
Vitoria Setubal v Porto (Porto win)
Braga v Belenenses (Double chance for Braga)
Ajax v Excelsior (Ajax win)
Feyenoord v Heerenveen (Double chance for Feyenoord)
SUPER LIG (Turkey)
Adanaspor v Galatasaray (Double chance for Galatasaray)
Fenerbahce v Karabukspor (Double chance for Karabukspor)
Bursaspor v Konyaspor (Double chance for Bursaspor)
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