Schalke 04: 5 crucial keys to downing Borussia Dortmund

David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Schalke 04, Weston McKennie
Schalke 04, Weston McKennie (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

1. Win the midfield

This has been our mantra here at Release the Knappen in the build-up to the Revierderby. Win the midfield. If we can win the midfield, so many wonderful things happen as a result. For starters, we accomplish that whole “defending the defense” bit from earlier. We also free up Amine Harit and get him involved early and often which is also crucial to securing this match.

That becomes much harder with Omar Mascarell. Mascarell was not involved in team training and isn’t expected back any time soon, so this job falls to the likes of Weston McKennie, Suat Serdar, and/or Daniel Caligiuri, all of whom enjoy getting forward more than Mascarell does.

But they have to understand the importance of their position and what happens if they can secure that middle third of the pitch. Thankfully, Dortmund will be without their enforcer Axel Witsel, and they won’t have the likes of Emre Can or Marco Reus either, so the midfield does get a bit thinner on both sides.

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Still, the objective is to get the job done, control that possession, and not allow Dortmund to get a foothold. Do that and we win.