Borussia Dortmund and Schalke treated the world to one of the greatest matches in Bundesliga history when the Royal Blues completed one of sport's greatest ever comebacks after being 4-0 down at half-time at the Signal Iduna Park. This week the arch-rivals meet for another Revierderby at the Veltins-Arena with the winner having one hand on second place. Ahead of Sunday's return fixture, bundesliga.com asked you to vote for your Revierderby dream team. Read on for the results...
Ralf Fährmann (Schalke) - 50%
Fährmann edged what was essentially a two-horse race with Dortmund's Roman Bürki. A pure product of the Schalke youth academy, he was promoted to club captain by Domenico Tedesco last summer, and has returned the favour by providing solid foundations for his side’s UEFA Champions League push. The Royal Blues have the joint second-best defence in the Bundesliga, thanks in no small part to Fährmann winning nearly 87 per cent of his one-on-ones. The 29-year-old, who has played every single minute in the league, has made a total of 82 saves and boasts a league-high 11 clean sheets, having conceded 33 goals.
Lukasz Piszczek (Dortmund) - 80%
The loss of Piszczek to a knee injury in October coincided with a serious downturn in fortunes for Dortmund: an eight-game winless run which put paid to Peter Bosz’s stint at the helm. The Poland right-back provides both defensive stability and attacking impetus for BVB, who have only lost a single game this season with him in the side. Need we say more...?
Naldo (Schalke) - 73%
Naldo has been a rock at the heart of Schalke’s defence in 2017/18, playing every single minute in the league and staking a claim as perhaps their standout performer of the season. As well as winning almost three-quarters of his challenges and completing 90 per cent of his passes, the Brazilian colossus (6’6”) is the Bundesliga’s top-scoring defender with six goals, including the equaliser in that breathless 4-4 draw.
Sokratis (Dortmund) - 71%
Sokratis has been Dortmund’s most used outfield player this season, playing in all but three Bundesliga outings. A natural leader, the Greece international has taken over the captain’s armband in Marcel Schmelzer’s absence — and, as well as winning over two-thirds of his challenges, he has found the back of the net in victories over Cologne and Mainz.
Bastian Oczipka (Schalke) - 41%
Oczipka, who traded the Eagles for the Royal Blues last summer, has been one of Tedesco’s most used outfield players this season. Generally stationed a little higher up the pitch, he has come up with 52 crosses and completed nearly 80 per cent of his passes. He was a big miss in last week's 3-2 defeat to Hamburg as Schalke missed the opportunity to post a club record seven successive wins.
Max Meyer (Schalke) - 44%
Meyer, who honed his technique playing futsal as a boy, has been on the Schalke books since 2009 and provides a vital link between defence and attack. Destined for a place in the Germany midfield, the 22-year-old has made 24 league appearances this season, setting the tempo with a superb pass completion rate of almost 92 per cent, a league high for a midfielder.
Leon Goretzka (Schalke) - 75%
Goretzka told RevierSport this week that he will “miss the derby” once he completes his move from Schalke to Bayern Munich in the summer, and the feeling is surely mutual. At just 22, the Germany international has emerged as one of the most talented midfielders of his generation, which no doubt prompted the record champions to secure his services in January. Goretzka’s blend of elegance, skill and power have helped him notch four goals and two assists this season despite various injury problems, and there’s no telling how high he can go at the Allianz Arena.
Watch: Goretzka and Domenico Tedesco's Royal Blue revolution
Christian Pulisic (Dortmund) - 73%
Pulisic has staked a big claim to be considered the chief creative force in their respective midfields this season. With four goals and five assists, he has had a hand in more goals than any other BVB player, while his excellent showing in the 3-0 win over Stuttgart was a timely reminder that he represents a bright future for the Black-and-Yellows.
Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund) - 40%
Kagawa is hoping to feature at the 2018 World Cup after being left out of November’s friendlies against Brazil and Belgium by Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who has just been replaced by Akira Nishino. The 29-year-old looked to be hitting form when he suffered an ankle injury in February, and has notched five goals and an assist in his 18 Bundesliga appearances this season.
Watch: The best of Kagawa's 41 Bundesliga goals for Dortmund?
Marco Reus (Dortmund) - 92%
Reus was out until Matchday 22 recovering from the knee ligament injury he sustained in last season’s DFB Cup final triumph, but the fact he makes this list at all is testament to the earth-moving impact he had when he returned. The three goals he scored in his first four games back were worth five points to Dortmund, but he also clearly had an uplifting effect on the whole team, whose confidence seemed buoyed by the simple fact of having their iconic forward on the pitch again. Back after another short spell on the sidelines, the Germany international will no doubt play a key role in the final straight.
Michy Batshuayi (Dortmund) - 80%
KAPOW! WHACK! Holy huge impact, Batsman! Not so much the ‘Caped Crusader’ but the ‘Studded Saviour’, Batshuayi stepped brilliantly into the boots of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The winter departure for Arsenal has barely been missed with Batshuayi, on loan from Chelsea, plundering seven goals in his first nine BVB matches. Imagine the damage Dortmund might have inflicted on opponents had Marco ‘Robin’ Reus had been fully fit for the Rückrunde…
Watch: All Batshuayi's Dortmund goals so far