Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel expects Schalke’s main threat to come from set-pieces and counter-attacks in Sunday’s Revierderby.
Dortmund welcome their Gelsenkirchen rivals to Signal Iduna Park riding high second in the Bundesliga – six points better off than Andre Breitenreiter’s team in fifth.
The free-flowing attacking football employed by Tuchel has returned 32 goals in 11 league matches this season, more than double Schalke’s tally of 14.
But former Mainz boss Tuchel believes Schalke’s solid defensive record makes them tricky opponents if they can steal a goal, with winger Leroy Sane a noted dangerman.
“We must prevent Schalke’s counter-attacks,” Tuchel told a pre-match news conference. “They have lethal wingers, who can dribble. Leroy Sane is one of them.
“We also expect Schalke to be very dangerous from set-pieces, even without [Johannes] Geis.
“We expect Schalke to be emotionally charged. They want to use the derby to get some serenity.”
Schalke have returned 900 tickets for the match after section of their support chose to boycott the match on account of a reduced allocation.
The visitors still received a rousing send-off, with fans lining their training field and letting off flares at the team’s final training session on Saturday.
In a marked contrast, Tuchel will tune up his Dortmund XI away from prying eyes.
“We want to have a quite work atmosphere, to be fully focused, which is why our final training is behind closed doors,” he explained.
“We want to be ready tomorrow to play with maximum sharpness, with maximum awareness.”
Tuchel added: “I find it very unfortunate that the game is tomorrow boycotted by some fans.
“The atmosphere will be especially electric. We are looking forward to it. But we need to keep our cool.”