Cologne - Derbies are the icing on the fixture list cake. Clashes against local rivals get fans’ blood pumping like no other match. In the 2015/16 season the Bundesliga will enjoy an incredible 30 derbies. Here is a taster to whet your appetite.
For many fans, this is the mother of all derbies. The Ruhr district reaches boiling point when FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head. This season, the Knappen are desperate to even things up in the overall record. In the 86 Revierderbys so far, Borussia Dortmund lead by the narrowest of margins with 31 victories to Schalke’s 30 (and 25 draws). Dortmund’s 3-0 win on matchday 23 of the 2014/15 season gave them the edge. Schalke are now out for revenge.
No other game has a richer Bundesliga history and 2015/16 will see a further instalment after Hamburger SV survived by the skin of their teeth in the play-off. The next derby against SV Werder Bremen will be the 103rd Bundesliga clash between the two sides – the most frequently played out match in the league’s history. Werder have their noses in front with 37 wins to Hamburg’s 32 and 33 draws in total. But goal difference remains level: both teams have scored 150 times in the contest.
VfB Stuttgart have had precious little to smile about in recent clashes with FC Bayern München. The Schwaben have lost their last ten Bundesliga matches against the German champions. Never before have Stuttgart lost so many consecutive games to a single team. VfB will be looking to ensure there’s no 11th defeat in 2015/16.
New southern derby
Bundesliga fans in southern Germany have two premieres to look forward to next season. FC Ingolstadt’s first-ever promotion to the top flight means Bavaria has two new local derbies when the Schanzer take on FC Augsburg and record champions Bayern.
Pride of Rhein-Main
Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FSV Mainz 05 will renew rivalries once more and welcome another challenger into the local fray. Darmstadt is just 35 km from Frankfurt and 40 km away from Mainz. Eintracht have come up against their Hessian neighbours SV Darmstadt 98 on four previous occasions in the Bundesliga (twice in 1978/79 and 1981/82) recording three victories to Darmstadt’s one. Mainz and Darmstadt have never met before in the Bundesliga.
The Rheinland derby
1. FC Köln have been waiting a long time for a victory in the Rheinland derby against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Foals have won six and drawn three of the last nine meetings. Perhaps Köln’s Austrian coach Peter Stöger can make his Swiss counterpart Lucien Favre finally taste defeat in what will be his sixth derby.