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Schalke's home strengths a concern for Arsenal

Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 9.45CET
FC Schalke 04 were held to a frustrating draw in their last home outing but are now seeking a second famous Group B victory against Arsenal FC in quick succession.
Schalke's home strengths a concern for Arsenal
Ibrahim Afellay after scoring Schalke's second goal at Arsenal ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 9.45CET

Schalke's home strengths a concern for Arsenal

FC Schalke 04 were held to a frustrating draw in their last home outing but are now seeking a second famous Group B victory against Arsenal FC in quick succession.

Having ended Arsenal FC's long unbeaten home sequence in the UEFA Champions League, FC Schalke 04 will now look to preserve their own impressive record on their own ground to cement first place in Group B.

• Goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay made the German club the first foreign visitors to defeat Arsenal at home since FC Internazionale Milano in 2003, ending a 45-game unbeaten streak. The previous two clubs to win at Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League were both English: Chelsea FC (2003/04) and Manchester United FC (2008/09), the latter defeat preceding a 16-game unbeaten home run, play-offs included, that Schalke ended.

• Arsenal won their first away game 2-1 at Montpellier Hérault SC and then defeated Olympiacos FC 3-1. Schalke won in Piraeus, also 2-1, before being held 2-2 at home by Montpellier.

Previous meetings
• The teams met in the 2001/02 group stage when the coaches were, as now, Arsène Wenger and Huub Stevens. Arsenal won 3-2 at home but lost 3-1 in Gelsenkirchen.

• The lineups for the game at the Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, on 30 October 2001 were:
Schalke: Reck, Matellan, Hajto, Möller, Böhme, Mulder, Sand, Van Hoogdalem (Kmetsch 63), Wałdoch, Vermant (Djordjevic 74), Němec (Thon 67).
Arsenal: Wright, Upson (Stepanovs 66), Luzhny, Campbell (Keown 68), Cole, Pirès, Parlour, Edu, Grimandi, Wiltord, Kanu (Pennant 78).

• Schalke have lost their last two home contests with English sides and not scored in three. They went down 2-0 to both Manchester United in the 2010/11 semi-final first leg and Manchester City FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. Their home record against English teams reads W3 D1 L2.

• Arsenal drew 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund in last season's group stage. Their record in Germany is W3 D3 L5.

Match background
• Schalke are making their fifth UEFA Champions League appearance and when they were last involved, in 2010/11, they recovered from a opening defeat at Olympique Lyonnais to win seven of their next nine fixtures, including all five at home. The German club have lost only two of their last 12 home fixtures in the competition, qualifying included.

• Arsenal are in the group stage for the 15th campaign in a row. In 2011/12 Wenger's side departed in the round of 16 for the second season running. It was the 12th successive time they had made it through the group and only the second campaign since 2006/07 that they had failed to reach the quarter-finals or better.

• The matchday one win at Montpellier was only Arsenal's third in 13 away matches in the competition proper, a run that includes eight defeats.

Team ties
• Per Mertesacker played for Hannover 96 (2003-2006) and SV Werder Bremen (2006-2011). He made 12 appearances against Schalke, putting through his own net in Hannover's 2-2 draw on 20 March 2004. Lukas Podolski faced Schalke ten times with 1. FC Köln and FC Bayern München, scoring four goals.

• Tomáš Rosický was at Dortmund from 2001 to 2006, playing 149 Bundesliga games and scoring 20 goals.

• Huntelaar and Thomas Vermaelen were team-mates at AFC Ajax from January 2006 to January 2009.

• Podolski and Mertesacker are Germany team-mates of Benedikt Höwedes, Lewis Holtby and Julian Draxler. Mertesacker and Christoph Metzelder were Germany's centre-backs in the 1-0 final defeat by Spain at UEFA EURO 2008, Podolski and Spain's Santi Cazorla also featuring.

• Abou Diaby scored the only goal as a French team with Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny on the bench beat Teemu Pukki's Finland in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Helsinki on 7 September.

• Christian Fuchs' Austria were beaten 2-1 by a Germany team who used Podolski as a second-half substitute in a World Cup qualifier in Vienna on 11 September. Mertesacker was on the bench.

• Tranquillo Barnetta and Johan Djourou play together for Switzerland. Carl Jenkinson and Pukki played together in Finland's Under-21 team.

• Giroud scored for France in a 2-1 friendly victory against Germany in Bremen on 29 February, Höwedes coming on at the interval.

Last updated: 02/11/12 15.12CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009546/prematch/background/index.html#schalkes+home+strengths+concern+arsenal

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