Schalke out to add to Dort­mund's re­cent derby mis­ery

Observer on Saturday - - World Sport -

- Schalke 04 plot to be­come the first Bun­desliga side to beat Borus­sia Dort­mund this sea­son and ex­tend the Ger­man league lead­ers' re­cent mis­ery in Gelsenkirchen in to­day's Ruhr derby.

This is the first time in six years Dort­mund go into the derby top of the ta­ble, but they last won at the Veltins Arena half a decade ago.

A gulf of 19 points and 12 places in the ta­ble sep­a­rates the clubs, who are only 33kms (20miles) apart, but Schalke are itch­ing to get one over their high-fly­ing neigh­bours and bit­ter ri­vals.

GELSENKIRCHEN Beats

"Since Mon­day, the pulse of the derby beats in the re­gion. Ev­ery­one is talk­ing about it," Manuel Neukirch­ner, Di­rec­tor of the Ger­man Foot­ball mu­seum in Dort­mund, told AFP. "Here, you can't be neu­tral. "It re­minds me a bit of the Bea­tles and Rolling Stones in the 1960s - you have to sup­port one or the other."

Dort­mund have not won any of the last five der­bies and Schalke ran out 2-0 win­ners in Gelsenkirchen last April.

The Royal Blues held an open train­ing ses­sion for home fans yes­ter­day to fire the city up for one of Euro­pean foot­ball's most pas­sion­ate der­bies.

"In derby games, there is no out­sider and no favourites," said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco. "We will do ev­ery­thing to come out of the derby with a pos­i­tive re­sult."

Tedesco sees his team's press­ing as their big­gest weapon, plus the im­prov­ing form of mid­field­ers Se­bas­tian Rudy and Na­bil Ben­taleb, whose penalty res­cued a point in last week­end's 1-1 draw at Hof­fen­heim.

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