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Mar, 7, 2013

Draxler set for Schalke record

Midfielder Julian Draxler is set to become the youngest ever Schalke player to reach 100 games for the club, and is eyeing his first derby win of his career against Borussia Dortmund this weekend.

Draxler is to make his 100th appearance for the Royal Blues at the age of only 19 years and 170 days, just over two years after making his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Hamburg on January 15, 2011.

The Germany international missed out on Schalke's 2-1 win at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion during the first half of the season, but is confident that his side have what it takes to upset the reigning Bundesliga champions.

"There couldn't be a better time for a first derby," Draxler told the club's official website. "It would be brilliant if we could pick up all three points. The team will definitely give 100% to get a result."

Schalke go into the derby with the confidence of wins Bundesliga against Dusseldorf and Wolfsburg, which saw them gain ground back in the fight for the fourth Champions League spot.

"Of course, it was important for us to get back in touch with the leading pack against Wolfsburg," Draxler added. "But now - including amongst family members - everybody's just talking about the game against Borussia. We can hardly wait but we know it won't be easy. We need to be positive going into the derby. If we can do that then I'm sure we'll be able to produce a good performance"

When Schalke beat Dortmund last October, Lewis Holtby was a key player. Holtby has since moved on to Spurs and Draxler now has taken Holtby's position in attacking midfield.

"I've always said I feel most comfortable playing as No. 10," Draxler said. "At the end of the day, the coach always decides where I play. I only played in that position in a few pre-season friendlies and it didn't go to plan.

"There's a huge hole to fill in that position now that Lewis Holtby has moved on and I'm happy to get a chance."

Schalke also have a Champions League return leg against Galatasaray next Tuesday to consider, but Draxler believes that all eyes are on Dortmund now, saying: "Dortmund have lot of quality players in their team. I think we're on equal terms at the moment. We're out of the doldrums. It's time to prove it."

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