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Ahead of this weekend’s derby, the Schalke captain said his side is wary of the threat Jurgen Klopp's men pose but insisted it is not afraid of its title-holding opponents.

Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes says there is no reason why his side should be intimidated by its closest rival Borussia Dortmund on the eve of their eagerly anticipated Bundesliga clash.

Howedes insists if the Royal Blues can play together as a team and prevent BVB from stamping its authority on the match then they can extend their lead over their Ruhr neighbours, with only two points seperating the teams before the kickoff.

“BVB have enormous quality. We must stand strong and compact defensively and to present ourselves as a collective," Howedes told the club's official website. "This game starts at zero. But of course we are confident because we are looking good. Dortmund are clearly strong. But we must not hide and hope to take points. We have respect for Dortmund, but don’t fear them in any way."

The 24-year-old went on to earmark Dortmund’s Marco Reus as one of the players Schalke needs to be wary of this weekend. Last year’s German footballer of the year has started of this season explosively and has already impressed for both club and country.

“Marco Reus has a sensational strike," Howedes said. "It will be crucial not to let him plenty of space in and around the penalty area.”

Schalke wase arguably the better team in the corresponding fixture last year, but it was Dortmund that ran out as 2-0 winners. The center back is hoping for a similar performance with a different result.

“The way in which we played was just right. We want to repeat that on Saturday – it’s just the result that we want to change,” Howedes said.

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