Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Stoger claims Sunday’s derby at Schalke is “more than a football match” with both sides chasing Champions League qualification.
Dortmund head to second-placed Schalke a point and a place behind their near neighbours with just five games remaining in the Bundesliga.
Stoger’s side are five points clear of fifth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt but the 51-year-old intends to take no chances at the Veltins-Arena.
“A derby is more than a football match between two teams,” he said on the club’s Twitter account.
“Both teams are eager to enter the Champions League, so it’s difficult to make a favourite.
“There’s always explosiveness in this game, but the starting point makes it special again, we have the opportunity to pass Schalke.”
Former Cologne boss Stoger, who took over as Dortmund manager in December, has only lost once in seven games against Schalke.
“I like to play in this stadium, I have good memories there,” added Stoger, who has Manuel Akanji and Andriy Yarmolenko back available.
“I’m looking forward to this great game and I’m glad that I can do it as a BVB coach.”
Dortmund’s only defeat since Stoger took charge came against champions Bayern Munich at the end of March, and Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco is wary of the challenge.
Tedesco, in quotes reported on his club’s Twitter account, said: “You know you’re facing a strong team when they have only lost one of their last 14 Bundesliga fixtures.
“It will be settled on the small nuances and details. We must be ready to give absolutely everything from kick-off.”
Matija Nastasic is out with a knee injury but Marko Pjaca and Yevhen Konoplyanka should be available while Breel Embolo has recovered from a slight muscle strain.
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