Preview: Can Schalke stand up to the challenge?
Had Julian Draxler hit the ball either side of Iker Casillas rather than at him, the score might have been so different. The match might have turned. But Schalke was left to rue missed chances and lackadaisical defending as Real toyed with them. Their next task is set to be harder considering that they lost a number of players to injury in the UEFA Champions League. Nonetheless, the exit from Europe this season could help them finish in the top four in the league by allowing the players to rest more.
Bayern’s injury list is not too long. Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller will both be unavailable for selection due to some minor injury problems. Holger Badstuber is making his way back into the game slowly. For Schalke, Marco Höger, Christian Clemens, Dennis Aogo, Atsuto Uchida and Jan Kirchoff are all out of this one. Felipe Santana sustained some problems against Real and is out. Sead Kolasinac is a doubt as well.
Preview: Big ‘La Decima’ test in Germany for Los Blancos
Tickets for the Last 8 of the UEFA Champions League are at stake and Real Madrid are hoping to grab them but so do Schalke. Jens Keller affirmed in the build up to the showdown:
“We can't play without showing bravery. We have to find a balance between defence and attack.
“There is no doubt that Real Madrid has an incredible team, but we're not that bad. It all depends on how the team plays as a whole.”
Preview: Champions of Switzerland could spoil Schalke's must-win mission
Schalke has been in a poor run of form. A draw or loss to Basel will see them exit from the UEFA Champions League and could see the end of Jens Keller’s reign as Schalke manager The Blues exited the DFB Pokal last week when they lost to Hoffenheim, 1-3. They proceeded to lose to Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend in what can be referred to as a battle for fourth place in the Bundesliga, 2-1.
Undoubtedly, Schalke has enough quality to progress to the next round despite injuries to star forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dennis Aogo and Marco Höger. Also, Jermaine Jones is suspended. This can be thought of a positive due to Jones’ sudden absences of composure or as a negative as Jones is a tenacious player. They will depend on the skills of Julian Draxler, Max Meyer and Kevin-Prince Boateng to see them through.
Schalke’s 0-0 draw against Steaua Bucharest in the UEFA Champions League in midweek left plenty to be desired. The Blues have made rather hard work of a simple group. They have their fate…
Preview: Blues hoping to go clear on top with a win over Schalke
A win for either side can take them to the top of Group E and forerunners to advance to the next round of the tournament. Chelsea will be vying for all three points after losing out to Newcastle in their last encounter. Jose Mourinho’s men were convincingly beaten by the Magpies and the Portuguese tactician has revealed his frustration on the uncharacteristic manner in which his side dropped points.
I’m not happy with the way we faced that match, as simple as that," he told reporters.
"Sometimes, when you win a lot of times, players forget why they win.”
Preview: Schalke to continue their good form in Ruhr Derby
The Gelsenkirchen club got the better of their rivals last season when they managed to get maximum points in both the matches. Even though they are not in the best if the runs, Schalke will hope to get the better of Dortmund once again. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp recalled the incidents of the past year and claimed that the two defeats at the hands of their rivals were difficult to take.
"When you sign a contract at Borussia Dortmund, the first thing you learn is that there are 32 Bundesliga games and two derbies," he said according to ESPN.
Preview: Royal Blues to settle for a point against Chelsea
The German side have had a perfect start to their Champions League campaign notching up six points from their opening two fixtures. An opening day mauling of Steaua Bucharest was followed by a 1-0 victory over Basel a fortnight later, but Schalke’s German tactician Jens Keller has admitted that he would be content with a point when his side clashes with the English giants on Tuesday.
"Chelsea are a top side with enormous quality. We have a lot of confidence from our recent results as well as our good showings in the Champions League over the past years," said Keller.
On Tuesday, Chelsea take on Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 in their third game of the Champions League group stages at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, aiming to edge closer to the top of their group.
Though they have not been mesmerising or spectacular so far this season, Jose Mourinho’s side is never really about the beautiful game.
Regardless of what type of displays are put in, the Portuguese has always been a result oriented man and he will be more than happy to take all three points against Schalke on Tuesday in any way his players can.
Preview: Bayern looking to avoid any upsets in away trip to Gelsenkirchen
The defending champions will face a difficult challenge as they face Jens Keller’s men who have not conceded in three consecutive matches. Strengthened by the arrivals of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Ádám Szalai, Die Königsblauen will be looking to put a strong performance against the Bavarians in order to push for a Champions League place this season.
The squad has further benefited from the development of Schalke’s youth product Julian Draxler, who is starting to show why he has been so highly regarded and some fine displays in recent outings has made him one of the most important players in the squad.
The Bundesliga kicked-off the European football calendar in style. With seven fixtures on Saturday, fans were treated to a true goal feast, seeing the ball hit the back of the net on twenty-six occasions.
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