The Revierderby will be played in an empty stadium, and Kevin Hatchard thinks it'll be Schalke who feel empty by the end of it.
Visitors to get the Royal Blues
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke Saturday 14 March, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
Like all of the Bundesliga games this weekend, the Revierderby will be a "geisterspiel" or "ghost game." An 83,000-capacity stadium will be largely empty, but despite the entirely understandable removal of Borussia Dortmund's home advantage, I expect them to secure a morale-boosting derby victory.
BVB certainly need a pick-me-up after a very limp exit from the Champions League. Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Dortmund offered very little in attack in a 2-0 defeat at PSG. An Expected Goals figure of just 0.39 tells the story on a night when Lucien Favre's team just didn't do themselves justice.
However, the race for the Meisterschale isn't over, and a run of four straight Bundesliga wins means that Dortmund are second in the table, four points off top spot. Although the home crowd won't be there, there's something to be said for familiarity of surroundings, and Dortmund have won their last four BL home matches, scoring 15 goals in the process.
While Dortmund have upped the tempo in their championship charge, Schalke have fallen away badly. David Wagner's men have taken just four points from their last seven league games, and have scored a pitiful two goals in that sequence. All of the joy and verve has leaked out of their attacking play, and injuries mean there's been a revolving door when it comes to the centre-back positions.
Schalke haven't even scored a goal away from home since mid-December, and I think they'll be swept aside here. Back the hosts -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 2.00.
Fortuna to have Friday fun
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn Friday 13 March, 19:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
On the face of it, it seems that relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf escaped from last Sunday's trip to Mainz with a 1-1 draw, but the truth is that they dominated the game, and a point was the least they deserved. The first half display was one of their best 45 minutes of the campaign, and all that was lacking was the finish.
That's two league games in a row where Fortuna have probably deserved more than a point, and I think they'll secure a much-needed victory on Friday night against a Paderborn. The league's bottom side has picked up a nasty habit of playing well and losing, and they have lost their last four matches. Without injured centre-back Luca Kilian, SCP have struggled at the back, conceding at least two goals in each of their last four outings.
Fortuna have only lost once in the league since coach Uwe Rosler took over, and forwards Kenan Karaman and Erik Thommy are in great form. I'll back the hosts to win here at 2.04.
Hertha to take another small step forward
Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin Saturday 14 March, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
If Hertha Berlin didn't keep making dreadful starts to games, they'd be heading towards safety by now. They were 3-0 down by half time in a 3-3 draw at Fortuna Dusseldorf, and last weekend they went 2-0 down inside six minutes at home to Werder Bremen, but came back to draw 2-2 and should really have won the game.
Hertha's firepower is getting them out of trouble. Winter signing Matheus Cunha has scored in back-to-back games, and it won't be long before Krzysztof Piatek starts scoring regularly. I've said since the start of the season that Hertha are "too good to go down" and I still believe that.
Hoffenheim are in the mix for Europa League qualification, but injuries are biting hard. Munas Dabbur and Sargis Adamyan are already out, and Andrej Kramaric continues to suffer from a series of minor knocks.
Alfred Schreuder's side have taken just two points from their last five matches, and at home they have lost three out of four in 2020. I can't really understand why they are odds-on to win here, so I'll lay them at 1.95.