Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and André Schürrle are set to return for Saturday’s Revierderby against Schalke 04.
André Schürrle and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are set to return from injury, Thomas Tuchel announced in his pre-match press conference on Friday, while the derby will probably come too soon for Raphael Guerriero.
“It looks as if two training sessions will be enough for Schürrle to return to the squad,” Tuchel said. The 25-year-old aggravated a knee injury in Dortmund’s 2-2 home draw against Real Madrid, which saw Schürrle miss Dortmund’s last five games. “Rapha [Guerreiro] also trained yesterday, but we have to consider the individual strain. The match will probably come too soon for him,” the Dortmund manager explained.
Aubameyang’s return will also be “super tight” according to Tuchel. Due to bruises picked up in BVB’s disappointing 3-3 draw against Ingolstadt last weekend, the Gabonese striker didn’t train until Friday. Tuchel said: “If he can train today, he will be able to play tomorrow.”
— Ruhr Nachrichten BVB (@RNBVB) October 28, 2016
Aubameyang did take part in in Friday’s team training, giving Dortmund fans cause for optimism. Christian Pulisic, who missed Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal second-round match against Union Berlin due to illness is also expected to return to the squad, giving the Black and Yellows a slight injury boost ahead of the highly anticipated Revierderby.
Tuchel, however, still has to make do without Marcel Schmelzer. After Korean left-back proved himself as a liability in his first-half appearance against Ingolstadt, 18-year-old Felix Passlack is likely to fill in for Schmelzer despite not fully convincing on the left side. Alternatively, the Dortmund coach could opt for three at the back with Matthias Ginter, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Marc Bartra.
Tuchel: “The derby feels like a cup final”
The 43-year-old was asked about the meaning of the Revierderby for the country at Friday’s news conference. He replied: “I believe that this is the derby in Germany. I feel privileged to be a part of that.”
He said: “Last year, the coaching staff approached the derby with a lot of serenity. Having experienced a cup final, I can say that the derby feels similar on the sidelines. It’s that tense! You realise that the chance to win this match will present itself again only one year later. “The derby is not like any other Bundesliga match, it feels rather like a knockout match where neither of the teams wants to commit the first mistake.”
Di Santo and Goretzka doubtful for Schalke
“We will travel to Dortmund full of confidence,” Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl told his news conference on Friday, aiming to claim all three points at the Westfalenstadion, after his side won four out of the last five games across competitions. Schalke climbed to 14th place in the Bundesliga after losing the first five league matches straight. “Franco Di Santo and Leon Goretzka will take part in team training tonight, but it remains to be seen whether they can play on Saturday,” the 41-year-old said. Especially the exclusion of Goretzka would mean a huge boost for Dortmund, as the 21-year-old marks an integral playmaker for BVB’s Ruhr-rivals. Barring the long-term injured Coke and Breel Embolo Weinzierl declared everybody else of the Schalke squad as fit.
Predicted line-up: Bürki; Passlack, Bartra, Sokratis, Ginter; Weigl; Pulisic, Götze, Castro, Dembele; Aubameyang