Weinzierl excited for first Ruhr derby


Markus Weinzierl says he is relishing his first Ruhr derby experience as he takes his Schalke side to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

The 41-year-old took charge of Schalke in June and will get his first taste of their famous rivalry as his side look to continue their ascent up the Bundesliga table.

After a slow start to the season, the Gelsenkirchen outfit are unbeaten in six in all competitions, while Dortmund are winless in three league games.

And, although Weinzierl is new to Schalke, he insists everyone at the club knows what this fixture means to the supporters.

"We will give everything we've got in Dortmund," he told a pre-match news conference ahead of an open training session. "We are just as excited as our fans. The excitement is building.

"Everyone knows how special the derby is, even our new signings. I'm not worried about how they will react.

"Our final training session is deliberately open, so the boys can soak up the atmosphere. We want our fans there."

With Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggling for fitness earlier this week, Schalke do not yet know how their rivals will line up - but Weinzierl believes they are prepared for any eventuality.

"We expect Aubameyang to play," he added, "but regardless of whether he plays, or [Adrian] Ramos plays, we will be ready for both of them."

Aubameyang netted the winner for Dortmund in the corresponding fixture last season as they defeated Schalke 3-2, while the sides drew 2-2 in Gelsenkirchen.