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Champions League qualification the key, says Klopp

24 March 2014 16:11

Jurgen Klopp is hoping the lure of UEFA Champions League qualification will help Borussia Dortmund hang on to second in the Bundesliga.

Dortmund currently sit one point clear of third-placed local rivals Schalke, who visit Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday, but a mammoth 23 points adrift of all-conquering leaders Bayern Munich.

And Klopp wants his players to avoid waivering from their target of automatic qualification for European competition, with Bayern having run away with the league again this season.

"It's all about qualifying for the Champions League directly," he said. "If we finish second, we've done that.

"Schalke have some fantastic young players. Kaan Ayhan, Max Meyer and Julian Draxler have been there a while.

"I think the home team always has a slight advantage in derbies, but I don't think that plays a huge role."

Klopp, for whom Marcel Schmelzer and Jakub Blaszczykowski are among a lengthy list of absentees, also joked the sides could host another match between their injured players.

"You could play a separate derby with all the players that are missing for tomorrow's game," he quipped.

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