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Dortmund, Schalke renew derby pleasantries

Gelsenkirchen, Germany (Sports Network) - Schalke will be looking to claim the double over Revier derby rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday at Veltins Arena.

However, the home side may have an eye toward its massive midweek fixture in the Champions League as well.

With Bayern Munich running away with the Bundesliga title this season, both Dortmund and Schalke will be concerned with finishing in the top four to reach the Champions League next season.

But both clubs still have ambitions of a deep run in Europe's premier club competition this term, with Dortmund having advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Shakhtar Donetsk this past Tuesday, while Schalke will host Galatasaray in the second leg of their round of 16 contest on Tuesday.

Schalke already owns a 2-1 win at Dortmund in October and Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp believes his team will be facing a motivated side despite the looming Champions League contest.

"Schalke are back in form, back on track and they have a lot of quality," Klopp said.

"We are going to be up against a strong Schalke side with a great deal of quality."

One of the players on Schalke blessed with plenty of quality is 19-year-old Julian Draxler, who will be making his 100th appearance for the Royal Blues.

Dortmund enters the weekend in second place, one point clear of third-place Bayer Leverkusen, while Schalke sits in sixth place, but only two points adrift of a top-four spot.

Bayern Munich can move closer to clinching the title with a home win against Dusseldorf on Saturday, while Leverkusen attempts to strengthen its hold on a Champions League place with three points at Mainz.

Eintracht occupies fourth place and visits mid-table Hannover, while Freiburg sits two points back of Eintracht and entertains Wolfsburg.

Hoffenheim and Greuther Furth tangle at Trolli Arena in a battle of the bottom two sides in the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen hits the road to face Monchengladbach and Stuttgart hosts a Hamburg side with European ambitions of its own.

In Friday's match, Nurnberg moved 10 points clear of the relegation places with a 2-1 win at Augsburg as Alexander Esswein scored the winning goal in the 54th minute.

03/08 17:08:26 ET


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