Alessandro Schöpf: Fighting spirit and strong mentality

Shortly after full time in Sinsheim, the players and fans turned their attention to the upcoming derby. “A derby is always something extra special,” said Alessandro Schöpf ahead of the game on Saturday in the VELTINS-Arena. “This match is incredibly important in the Ruhr area.”

The Austrian made no secret that it is painful to look at the table at the moment. While his club are in twelfth place, Dortmund are leading the way at the top. “Dortmund have got a good team this year, who are very dangerous going forward. Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho, to name a few, are delivering week in week out and it is quite impressive,” said Schöpf. “Despite this, we still have a chance. If we put our all into the game, we can win the derby. BVB have not lost a game so far but it is about time they did. We won the home game last season. Why can’t we do it again?”

BVB have not lost a game so far but it is about time they did.

Alessandro Schöpf

The midfielder makes it very clear that being strong at the back will be crucial for the Royal Blues but he also adds: “We are not going to just sit back and defend. It is part of our nature to play our own game too.” The 24-year-old continues: “Every team has their weaknesses. We need to identify them and use them for our gain.” One thing Schöpf emphasises that is completely separate to the technical ability of either team in a derby is: “Fighting spirit and a strong mentality!”

Friday will be the last public training session before the big game and Schöpf is looking forward to seeing the fans before the match. Schöpf explains: “In previous years, the support shown at the last training session before the derby gave us that extra boost for the game and kept us going for the full 90 minutes!”

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