Tuchel ready for Schalke derby

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BVB Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has branded the upcoming derby against Schalke 04 on Sunday as "a fourth competition".

However, while Tuchel will be without the services of injured forward Marco Reus, he can draw confidence from the fact that his side are on a six-game winning streak since they were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern München on October 4. 

Sunday will also mark Tuchel’s first Ruhr derby and while Dortmund have excelled over the past month, he refused to label his side the favourites heading into the match. 

"It's quite simply the derby in Germany," he told Sky Deutschland. “That's why there is no clear-cut favourite because it has its own rules.

"We are aware that this is a fourth competition. We've got the Europa League, the DFB-Pokal and the Bundesliga – and we've got two games against Schalke. By all means, we want to win that competition too and we are ready for it."

Schalke have the upper hand when it comes to the 146 Ruhr derbies to date as they have emerged victorious 58 times, while Dortmund has tasted victory on 50 occasions. 

However, Schalke have not registered a win in their last five matches and manager Andre Breitenreiter is hoping that his maiden Ruhr derby brings a change in his side’s fortunes even though they will be without injured captain Benedikt Howedes and suspended midfielder Johannes Geis.

"The tension is mounting already, I'm really looking forward to my first Revier derby,” he told the official Bundesliga website. “The closer we get to the game, the more we are talking up the emotions. We'll be very motivated for this one.

"We'll be trying to win the game, and if that's not possible we're at least going to trash the pitch. I think that's what you wanted to hear!

"[Dortmund are] right back in the groove after a fairly unsuccessful campaign, they're a quality squad packed with top internationals. We may not have their strength in depth but over the 90 minutes we obviously have a chance. We never give up and we play attractive, attacking football. We're in a tricky phase at the moment but we need to keep this positive vibe going by personal example.

"This is a match that unleashes the emotions like no other, but we'll try prepare in the usual manner with the aim of implementing our game plan."