Felipe Santana has urged his Schalke teammates to be cautious ahead of the Revierderby against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
In the quest for more playing time, Santana, 27, made the rare switch from Dortmund to the Royal Blues ahead of the current season.
But while the defender has struggled to break into Schalke’s starting XI since his arrival, he is still hoping to feature in the 83rd Bundesliga Revierderby, in which Dortmund will be out for revenge after suffering two defeats last term.
“Dortmund will come here with blood in their eyes,” Santana told Bild. “Dortmund twice lost 2-1 last season. They are now out for revenge.
“Should I play on Saturday, I will give it my all to stop them. Even if they have been my family for five years and [Dortmund coach Juergen] Klopp, in a manner of speaking, my dad.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng, another former Dortmund player, is set to feature for the Royal Blues in a more prominent role.
Despite fitness doubts following yet another knee injury, the Berlin-born Ghana international is fit to play his first Revierderby for Schalke.
Boateng had to be substituted due to fitness issues in his side’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, but has since made progress, according to Schalke coach Jens Keller.
“Following his appearance against Chelsea, Kevin has made a step forward. Where I will play him, I don’t know yet,” he said.
Schalke will be without the injured attackers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jefferson Farfan on Saturday.
Keller has previously played Boateng in an attacking role, but could move him back into central midfield, with former Mainz player Adam Szalai returning to the attack.
Other than long-time absentees Sebastian Kehl, Ilkay Gundogan and Lukasz Piszczek, Dortmund will have their full squad available for the Revierderby.
“The Blues have good attacking players,” Klopp said. “If we put in our full package of BVB football, our chances will improve greatly.”