After picking up just one point from their first three games this term - the same as their opponents - only a win will do at the Mainz Arena this weekend and Tuchel had no intention of hiding that fact as he laid out his plan at the pre-match press conference.
"I could just play down how important and decisive this game is for us, but everybody within the team and all of us know how important it actually is," he said.
"It would be stupid to pretend it isn't.
"It is very important. It will lay the foundations for the short and the mid-term - short-term because it is better to go into two away games, including one in midweek, with four points than with one.
"Mid-term because the outcome of this game will determine how we go into the coming weeks."
Augsburg will have the same expectations on Saturday, which is why Tuchel has warned not to under-estimate the second Bavarian club to arrive in Mainz after Greuther Furth won there 1-0.
"Schalke struggled incredibly against them," he said. "In the end, they won, but it was not a clear-cut win.
"It suffices for us to have one goal more than them in the 90th minute."
Augsburg striker Aristide Bance returns to his former club having so far failed to reach the highs of his time in Mainz.
His 14 goals fired Mainz into the Bundesliga in 2009 and his 10 goals kept them in the top flight the following season before he moved to Al Ahli, but he has yet to find the back of the net in the league for his new club.
"He only needs a few chances to score in training," coach Markus Weinzierl said in Kicker magazine.
"He may not have played a great game for us yet, but that is not purely his own fault.
"We need to support him better as a whole team."