There won’t be any fans at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday, but football lovers across Europe will be celebrating as the first of the big leagues returns to action.
Dortmund are just four points behind the Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and have a great opportunity to put their rivals under pressure as Bayern don’t kick off against Union Berlin until Sunday evening, but this game could be a tough one.
Schalke weren’t in great form when the season ground to a halt, but they have a good record against their near neighbours, drawing five and winning two of their last seven, and with several key Dortmund players missing and no home crowd to roar them on, I fancy the visitors to earn a valuable point on Saturday.
Gary Anderson is the favourite to win Group 30 of the PDC Home Tour, but there are some lively contenders in this section, including Dimitri van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts, who face off in the evening’s second match.
Huybrechts was in good form when the season was halted, having reached the semi-final of the Players Championship event in Barnsley, but Van den Bergh has also shown hints of his best so far this season, reaching the last eight of the UK Open.
The two have met on eight previous occasions, and both have had their share of success, but Van den Bergh has the edge over his fellow countryman in recent months, winning five out of the last six and he looks the better option here.
The inconsistent Hangzhou Spark take on a couple of new opponents in the Overwatch League this weekend, with an interesting game against the London Spitfires on Sunday preceded by this clash with New York Excelsior.
Spark have found it hard to settle on their best line-up and that helps to explain their 5-6 record that leaves them in the middle of the league standings.
Hangzhou have a stronger healing core, with Ho-jin Park and Hui-Chang Yoon outperforming their likely opposite numbers Taesung Jung and Sung-hyeon Bang thus far, but New York look stronger overall and go into this game with a healthy 11-4 record. Back Excelsior to exert their superiority on Saturday.
Total Odds for this multiple: 8/1. Remember, multiple prices are based on our Sportsbook product, so any winnings are exempt from commission.