Former Schalke winger Julian Draxler says any clash with Borussia Dortmund remains “special” to him, as he prepares to face Thomas Tuchel’s men with Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Draxler – born close to Gelsenkirchen – came through Schalke’s youth system and featured in a number of Revierderbies against Dortmund before making the move to Wolfsburg during the close-season.
The Germany international is set to feature for Dieter Hecking’s side at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday, having missed Wolfsburg’s last three games due to suspension and a subsequent thigh injury.
While he may not be taking on Dortmund in a derby context, as with Schalke, Draxler maintains any meeting with this weekend’s visitors will remain keenly contested on his part.
“When I was injured, most people said to me: ‘As long as you’re fit to play Dortmund again’,” he told Bild.
“For the club it is not a derby but for me it will always be a very special game.”
Wolfsburg have lost just once at home in all competitions but trail Dortmund by seven points thanks to their poor Bundesliga away form.
Hecking’s men have picked up just six points from a possible 21 on the road this season, although Draxler is keen to end the first half of the season on a high with fixtures against Dortmund, Hamburg and Stuttgart, as well as the Champions League visit of Manchester United.
“It’s second against third – a top match,” Draxler added.
“Away from home we leave much to be desired. That is why we have consistently challenged in the home games. If we win our three games, we will go with a good feeling into the winter break.”