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Schalke's Keller defiant in face of adversity

Published: Monday 11 March 2013, 20.00CET
FC Schalke 04 will go into Tuesday's visit of Galatasaray AŞ without Klaas-Jan Huntelaar yet coach Jens Keller insists "feeling sorry for ourselves will do us no good".
by Steffen Potter
from Gelsenkirchen

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SchalkeGalatasaray

Goals scored13
 
14
on target65
 
70
off target61
 
69
Corners49
 
45
Offsides21
 
31
Fouls committed110
 
155
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26
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Published: Monday 11 March 2013, 20.00CET

Schalke's Keller defiant in face of adversity

FC Schalke 04 will go into Tuesday's visit of Galatasaray AŞ without Klaas-Jan Huntelaar yet coach Jens Keller insists "feeling sorry for ourselves will do us no good".

Buoyed by Saturday's 2-1 Ruhr derby defeat of Borussia Dortmund, coach Jens Keller has urged his FC Schalke 04 side to harness their recent momentum for Tuesday's round of 16 visit of Galatasaray AŞ. 

Losing [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar will make life difficult for us, but we have been in this situation before. Feeling sorry for ourselves will do us no good.
Jens Keller
Anything can happen, even if we concede early on – anything but a win would be extremely disappointing for us
Fatih Terim

Jermaine Jones cancelled out Burak Yılmaz's opener to earn the visitors a priceless 1-1 first-leg draw in this UEFA Champions League tie in Istanbul three weeks ago. The Bundesliga team have since embarked on a run of three straight league wins yet Keller is refusing to rest on any laurels – nor will he worry too much about the untimely loss of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury.

His Galatasaray counterpart Fatih Terim evidently harbours a great deal of respect for his German opponents, although he cut a bullish figure when boldly predicting the Turkish champions stand a "very good" chance of leaving Gelsenkirchen victorious. 

Schalke
Jens Keller, coach
We have produced some great performances recently and must carry that into the match tomorrow. We want to keep experiencing the euphoria of winning as well as the support of our fans. Galatasaray are a very good side, even if they lost in the league at the weekend. The Champions League is an entirely different competition. I'm sure they will put in a very good performance.

Losing [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar will make life difficult for us, but we have been in this situation before. Feeling sorry for ourselves will do us no good. We not only played well against Dortmund. We have been in good form over the past five matches. However, we are not getting carried away. We got a decent result in Istanbul, but we did not win by three or four goals. We have worked long and hard to build the confidence we have now.

I don't think anyone will be tired from the derby. Once they enter the arena tomorrow and hear the fans' roar, they will lose all sense of being tired. When I took over here, I thought about playing [Julian] Draxler as playmaker and he has proved me right with his recent displays. He still has lots of time to develop further. [Teemu] Pukki is not certain to start [with Huntelaar and Ciprian Marica injured], but he is definitely an option.

We must not make the mistake of dropping too deep. Galatasaray have too much quality in attack and are too dangerous. That's why we will not play a waiting game but will try to score ourselves. I am sure there will be a good number of Turkish fans inside the stadium, and with that I expect our fans to create a great atmosphere.

Weekend result
Saturday: Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (Draxler 12, Huntelaar 35; Lewandowski 59)
Hildebrand; Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Kolasinac; Höger, Neustädter (Fuchs 73); Farfán, Draxler (Raffael 82), Bastos; Huntelaar (Pukki 54).

• Julian Draxler marked his 100th competitive appearance for Schalke by opening the scoring in a typically vibrant Ruhr derby. Fourth-placed Schalke have won three in a row since the first leg, having managed a solitary victory in their previous 13 outings.

Team news
Huntelaar has been sidelined with a knee injury sustained against Dortmund. Atsuto Uchida (thigh) and Christian Fuchs (back) returned to action at the weekend, Uchida marking his return with assists for both goals. Ibrahim Afellay (thigh), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (knee), Lars Unnerstall, Ciprian Marica and Christoph Moritz (all knee) are absent. Jermaine Jones is suspended.

Galatasaray
Fatih Terim, coach
Schalke have improved enormously since our first meeting, getting better week after week. They have an advantage with the away goal. We are up against very good opponents, who deserve our respect. However, we are also a good team with a certain level of experience in Europe. We have been in situations like this before and know what is expected.

I have great faith in my players. They have prepared very well for the game and are full of confidence. We want to win tomorrow and we are ready to give everything it takes to do so. I believe there is a very good chance we will leave Schalke with a victory. I also hope we have better luck this time and avoid hitting the woodwork so often.

[Wesley] Sneijder is an important player for us and I assume he will play tomorrow. If you look at the first leg, 1-1 does not sound like such a great result for us, but we had lots of good chances to extend our lead.

Everyone knows how well Schalke have been playing over the past few weeks, beating Dortmund in the process. I don't expect league form to count for much, though. Anything can happen, even if we concede early on – anything but a win would be extremely disappointing for us.

Weekend result
Friday: Galatasaray 0-1 Gençlerbirliği SK (Vleminckx 60)
Muslera; Eboué, Semih Kaya, Gökhan Zan, Riera; Hamit Altıntop (Drogba 65), Selçuk İnan, Yekta Kurtuluş, Sneijder (Amrabat 58), Emre Çolak (Umut Bulut 57); Burak Yılmaz.

• Didier Drogba missed a late penalty and Gökhan Zan – making just his third Super League appearance of the campaign – was sent off three minutes from time as leaders Galatasaray lost to ninth-placed Gençlerbirliği. Felipe Melo was suspended while Terim was serving a domestic touch-line ban. All four of Galatasaray's league defeats this term have come on a Friday.

Team news
Dany Nounkeu is poised to return following a hamstring injury but Johan Elmander is still out with a foot problem.

Match fact
• The German club have won eight of the ten UEFA competition ties in which they have drawn the first leg away, although both defeats – against FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32 (0-1 at home) and Wisła Kraków in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup third round (1-4 at home) – came after 1-1 draws.

Last updated: 12/03/13 15.40CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000348/match=2009594/prematch/preview/index.html#schalke+galatasaray+preview

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