Ruhr district rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke renew acquaintances on Matchday 13, each blessed with their own star-studded armies of match-winners. runs the rule over the game changers, party poopers and Revierderby folk heroes in waiting…

Watch: The key battles of the Revierderby!

Christian Pulisic vs. Yevhen Konoplyanka

After enjoying some well-earned rest & relaxation during the November international break, only to then sit out Dortmund's 2-1 loss to Stuttgart with a last-minute muscle complaint, Christian Pulisic should – fitness permitting - be raring to go by the time the Revierderby rolls around.

Pulisic made Bayern Munich right-back Joshua Kimmich look ordinary at times in his previous Bundesliga outing and, even though BVB lost the game 3-1, the 19-year-old USA international once again came up smelling of roses.

His pace and skill set put him on a par with Bayern's Franck Ribery in the wide-man stakes, but he also has the uncanny knack of drifting inside and wreaking havoc in central areas – and can even do a job on the right-hand side of the attack.

Down on their luck following three successive Bundesliga defeats, Dortmund might just have found their divine intervention.

Watch: Christian Pulisic - Dortmund's Klassiker silver lining

On the opposing flank, Schalke's Yevhen Konoplyanka is another player at home across the front three.

The Ukrainian's form is perhaps a little more erratic than his opposite number Pulisic, but get him on a good day and he can be unplayable. Just ask Hamburg.

Konoplyanka made mincemeat out of HSV's Denis Diekmeier on Matchday 12, winning the penalty that paved the way for a comfortable 2-0 win, before chipping in with the assist for Schalke's second of the night.

Against a Dortmund back line low on confidence, the hard-to-read Schalke No.11 could have a field day.

Yevhen Konoplyanka (l.) has a goal and two assists to show for 12 top-flight outings so far this season. © imago

Sokratis vs. Naldo

Konoplyanka's pace and unpredictability are as much a problem for stand-in right-back Jeremy Toljan as they are for central defensive chief Sokratis.

Ominously, the autumn months haven't been kind to the Greece international. He was sent off in the 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig on Matchday 8, endured an afternoon to forget against Hannover, was sent off against Bayern, only managed 45 minutes of the recent defeat to Stuttgart and lost a FIFA 2018 World Cup play-off to Croatia.

Class is permanent, though, and there aren't many Bundesliga defenders quite so uncompromising as an on-song Sokratis.

Expect the white-hot Revierderby atmosphere to relight the Greek's famous fire.

Sokratis celebrated five successive clean sheets at the start of the campaign, but hasn't kept one since. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Helping fuel the proverbial furnaces at Schalke, meanwhile, is Brazilian beanpole defender Naldo.

A veteran of 329 Bundesliga appearances, the 35-year-old is the most experienced member of the resurgent royal-blue cast – head coach Domenico Tedesco included - and the pillar around which the second meanest defence in this season's Bundesliga has been built.

A genuine ever-present, Naldo has given away just 10 goals so far this term – only Bayern have kept more clean sheets – and has the added boon of being a menace from set pieces.

Watch: Naldo and Co. take on the FIFA 18 Free-kick Challenge

Julian Weigl vs. Max Meyer

From the Revierderby's eldest statesman to two baby-faced protagonists, the midfield tete-a-tete between Julian Weigl and Max Meyer is laced with intrigue.

Although Weigl has gone under the radar somewhat with his performances in the Dortmund engine room so far this season, his importance to the cause as the link between defence and attack should not be underestimated.

The 22-year-old had the most touches of all midfielders on the pitch against Stuttgart and, despite only making five starts in 2017/18, continues to earn comparisons with retired possession-recycler par excellence Xabi Alonso.

Julian Weigl is slowly returning to his best after breaking an ankle in May 2017. © gettyimages / Lars Baron

It is a role Weigl knows like the back of his hand, but one that, until recently, was very unfamiliar territory indeed for Schalke's Meyer.

A No.10 by trade, the Knappenschmiede academy graduate has been repurposed as a deep-lying midfielder in recent weeks – with startling results.

Schalke are unbeaten in six, while Meyer's pass completion, touches, duels won and distance covered stats are all up on last term.

The player who inherited the No.7 shirt from legendary striker Raul appears to have found his true calling in front of his own back line, rather than in among the opposition defence.

Max Meyer has begun a new era of his career as a holding midfielder in Domenico Tedesco's fresh Schalke system.
Max Meyer has begun a new era of his career as a holding midfielder in Domenico Tedesco's fresh Schalke system. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs. Guido Burgstaller

Meyer's heel-snapping presence certainly won't make life any easier for Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Although the Gabon international was on target in the midweek defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League, he hasn't scored in the Bundesliga since the Matchday 8 defeat to Leipzig.

Last season's leading Bundesliga marksman has still managed to bring up double figures at a rate of 0.90 goals per game, though, and has also netted five times in eight previous Revierderby outings.

Watch: All 95 of Aubameyang's Bundesliga goals

It is a record Schalke's Guido Burgstaller can only aspire to ahead of what will be his second taste of the Ruhrpott rumble. Unlike Aubameyang, however, the Austria front man has form on his side.

Burgstaller has registered three goals and two assists in his last five Bundesliga games, and appears to be striking up quite the understanding with born-again No.9 Franco Di Santo.

What he does off the ball, could be just as important as what he does on it.

Watch: Burgstaller helps Schalke down Hamburg

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