Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title bid may require Schalke’s assistance
Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of winning the Bundesliga title may depend on their fierce rivals Schalke, who will face league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday. Bayern host Schalke in the early game, just hours before Dortmund’s clash with Borussia Moenchengladbach. The reigning champions sit just one point clear and know any slip-up could allow Dortmund to reclaim top spot with two rounds to play.
Schalke, who are located 30 kilometres apart from Dortmund in Germany’s former industrial Ruhr region, are the least likely team in Germany to want to do Dortmund a favour. However, the Royal Blues lie in 15th, one spot clear of the relegation play-off spot, and are in desperate need of points. Dortmund mayor Thomas Westphal has invited the Schalke team to City Hall to sign the Golden Book if they pull off a miraculous result against Bayern.
Schalke coach Thomas Reis said that « if we succeed and others benefit, then that’s fine. » Schalke have lost their last 11 matches against Bayern, last beating the Bavarians in 2011. The Royal Blues have, however, won three of their last four to jump out of the relegation spots for the first time since September. Dortmund coach Edin Terzic was not in the mood to discuss Schalke being his team’s saviour. « We need to win our three games — that’s the only thing we can influence, » Terzic said.
American defender Joe Scally to face Dortmund’s firing frontline
American defender Joe Scally will have his hands full trying to keep tabs on Dortmund’s firing frontline on Saturday. While several top players look set to miss the clash, including Marcus Thuram, Manu Kone, and Alassane Plea, 10th-placed Gladbach have saved their best performances for the Bundesliga’s biggest teams this season. With wins over Dortmund, Bayern, and RB Leipzig this season, Scally told AFP « we get up for the games » against the league’s big guns.
Scally, however, said that derailing a potential Dortmund title was not a motivating factor, saying « at their stadium, with their fans, it’s definitely motivation enough. » Bayern, with several ex-Schalke players in their ranks, have been quietly getting back to form under Thomas Tuchel. The Bavarians have won two in a row for the first time under Tuchel and know three more wins will secure an 11th straight title, regardless of what happens at Dortmund.
In conclusion, Dortmund’s title bid may depend on Schalke’s performance against Bayern Munich, and American defender Joe Scally will have a tough task trying to keep Dortmund’s firing frontline at bay. Bayern, with several ex-Schalke players in their ranks, have been quietly getting back to form under Thomas Tuchel. The Bavarians have won two in a row for the first time under Tuchel and know three more wins will secure an 11th straight title, regardless of what happens at Dortmund.
Keywords: Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Bayern Munich, Joe Scally, Thomas Tuchel, Marcus Thuram, Manu Kone, Alassane Plea, RB Leipzig.
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