Guido Burgstaller: Things are looking up again

It is a derby unlike no other for all the wrong reasons – due to the coronavirus in Europe the Revierderby between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday (14th March, 15:30 CET) will be played behind closed doors. For Guido Burgstaller, the situation is not ideal, but it is still an occasion to respect.

“Every footballer and fan can’t imagine games without each other,” said the 30-year-old, on the subject of the games being played without fans, but the Austrian also admits that the practice is for the greater good. “Of course it isn’t perfect to have to go ahead without any fans, but everyone’s health comes first,” said Burgstaller, who played behind closed doors in a Europa League tie for Rapid Wien against Rosenburg in 2012.

Of course it isn’t perfect to have to go ahead without any fans, but everyone’s health comes first.

Guido Burgstaller

The coronavirus is also a much-discussed topic in the dressing-room, reveals Burgstaller. The team tries not to pay too much attention to it and are doing their best to prepare as normal for the derby. The striker isn’t too worried about the Schalke fans not being there affecting the side’s performance, because, “In the Revierderby, our fans are always loud anyway,” as he fondly looked back on previous experiences of this fixture. “I can’t really remember a derby when we’ve looked bad. We also played well against them in the first derby this season”, emphasised the Austrian, who will play his seventh derby against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. He has been a part of only one losing Schalke side in that time.”

Going into the derby with more motivation

Burgstaller explains that the team know what this game represents. “despite the current situation, and that we are not the favourites, we want to be able to put in a good performance,” said the striker, who last time took to the field as captain. Burgstaller’s message to the fans: “We will go into the game fully motivated.”

I always give everything on the pitch, so hopefully I can break my duck here

Guido Burgstaller

He knows that Borussia Dortmund possess great quality up front. “If we play as a team, we can manage to cause them problems. In addition, we want to create as much in the final third as we can,” which Burgstaller says is the recipe for a successful match against BVB. The 30-year-old wants to seal a strong performance against Dortmund with a goal. “I always give everything on the pitch, so hopefully I can break my duck here,” said the Austrian, who recently had a few chances in the cup game against Bayern Munich. “Those chances are part of it,” said the veteran. “I am in a positive mood now that things are looking up again!”

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