Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is treating his side’s derby match with Schalke at Signal Iduna Park as any other game.
The 2012 Bundesliga champions sit fourth but are already nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich after seven games.
Dortmund are unbeaten in their last four league encounters against Schalke after a difficult period against their rivals and Klopp is determined to see his players continue that impressive streak on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of pressure, ambition and emotion in this game but we have to accept it as a football game,” Klopp said.
“It’s not a normal game, but it still is a game of football and we’ve proved in the last few years, that we’re able to do this.
“I hope that we’re able to do this again on Saturday.”
While Klopp is happy for the fans to get wrapped up in derby matches, he does not want his players to approach the match in the same manner.
“I don’t care much about what people say about this game,” he said.”For me it’s important with which line up and which mentality we start into this game.
“I already know the attitude of my team, but I currently don’t know the players that are going to start against Schalke.
“It’s all about playing football. People who want to interpret more than that into this derby and the result are free to do that but that will probably not happen to me.”
Klopp is wary of a Schalke side that occupies third position and features the likes of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay and Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
“You just have to look at their squad, the quality of their players, the ranking in the national standings,” the former Mainz 05 coach said.
“The ranking in this season and the ones before haven’t been that bad, Schalke have qualified for the Champions League.
“It’s an extraordinarily good team and we have to acknowledge that.”
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