Bundesliga

The Borussia Dortmund stars that could make a difference in the Revierderby

It will not just be bragging rights on offer for Borussia Dortmund when they take on Schalke on Saturday in the second Revierderby of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season.

Of course, that is not to say that getting one over their bitter rivals will not be a huge motivation for Lucien Favre’s charges at Signal Iduna Park.

But, as the closest challengers to leaders Bayern Munich with a four-point gap at present, Dortmund know victory is a must if they are to keep up the pressure on the reigning champions.

Borussia Dortmund’s Top 5 Revierderby Goals

While they have had bouts of inconsistency this term, BVB have found some form recently and are currently on a four-game winning streak in the Bundesliga after impressive triumphs over Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen, Freiburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Nonetheless, the form guide usually gets thrown out the window in derbies and, in Germany, they do not come much bigger than the Revierderby.

So, which Dortmund stars could be the key to three points on Saturday? FOX Sports Asia looks closer at a trio of pivotal players.

THE DEFENSIVE LYNCHPIN

When Dortmund have not played well this season, the main reason has been a vulnerability at the back but the ship has been steadied of late largely owing to Favre’s decision to switch to a back three.

Veteran Lukasz Piszczek and young gun Dan-Axel Zagadou have been introduced to good effect but the one constant binding the defence together is Mats Hummels.

It looked like Hummels was on the wane after some less-than-impressive displays for Bayern last season but it paved the way for a return to Signal Iduna Park, and he has picked up right where he left off in 2016 albeit with former defensive partner Neven Subotic no longer around.

Still only 31, the ex-Germany international arguably continues to be unmatched when it comes to reading the play and is responsible for initiating attacks from the back.

THE GENERAL IN MIDFIELD

For all the hype surrounding Dortmund’s free-flowing attack, it is sometimes easy to overlook the man that keeps things ticking in the middle of the park – Axel Witsel.

Since joining Dortmund from Tianjin Quanjian in the summer of 2018, the Belgian has established himself as an automatic pick in the starting XI and is one of the Bundesliga’s most-consistent performers.

Perhaps quite unfairly, Witsel is often stereotyped as a defensive sort when he actually offers his team plenty going forward as well, with his tidy distribution and desire to get into the box that has seen him net four times in the league so far this season.

The 31-year-old has bonded seamlessly with January arrival Emre Can, with the two of them combining for quite the unstoppable engine room.

THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE

With 14 goals and 15 assists in the league this season, Jadon Sancho is now well and truly one of world football’s superstars… and he only turns 20 later this month!

In the absence of talismanic captain Marco Reus, who is currently sidelined with a muscle injury sustained in last month’s loss to Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal, Sancho has really stepped up to shoulder the heavy lifting and is proving very capable of doing so.

With the addition of Erling Haaland in January, the Dortmund frontline is looking increasingly unstoppable with the Norwegian and Sancho leading the way while being ably supported by Thorgan Hazard, Achraf Hakimi and Julian Brandt.

And, while Sancho continues to be linked with Europe’s biggest clubs, he remains – for now – solely focused on helping BVB end their eight-year wait for the Meisterschale.

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