The Royal Blues won two matches in a row before the international break, following up a 3-0 drubbing of Augsburg with a 1-0 win at Mainz on Matchday 25. The latest success lifted them into the top half of the table for only the third time this season.
The UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists will be hoping to continue their upward trajectory by coming out on top in the 150th competitive meeting of these sides.
Dortmund did the bare minimum in their 1-0 victory over Ingolstadt before the international break but some of their players will have been thankful for a breather following a hectic run of fixtures.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were held to a scoreless draw at home to Schalke in October – one of only three league games the Bundesliga’s second-top scorers have failed to score in this season. A win is required on Saturday if Dortmund are, at the very least, to remain three points behind RB Leipzig in second.
- Schalke have won a record four home games against BVB after conceding first, but have also lost a record four home games against Dortmund after going 1-0 up.
- Die Schwarzgelben have only won more games at Stuttgart (13) than at their arch-rivals in Gelsenkirchen (12).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the race for the Torjägerkanone with 23 goals. Only three players in Bundesliga history have had more after 25 games: Gerd Müller, BVB legend Lothar Emmerich and Cologne’s Hannes Löhr.
- The Gabon international has scored in four of the five derbies he has started in. Only Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (five) has more derby goals than Aubameyang (four) out of the current two squads. The Dutch forward scored his first Bundesliga goal (19 September 2010) and his most recent league brace (8 November 2015) against Dortmund.
- Royal Blues captain Benedkit Höwedes is the only current Schalke player with a positive derby record (W4, D4, L3).
- Shinji Kagawa has scored more goals against Schalke (four) than against any other Bundesliga club. The Japan international is yet to find the back of the net this season (14 appearances).