|Attempts on target||52||42|
|Attempts off target||36||41|
FC Schalke 04 coach Mirko Slomka has called on his side to strike early against US Città di Palermo as they look to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit in their UEFA Cup Round of 16 tie. "Palermo played very well, but they now have to prove they can deliver over both legs," he said. "It's our goal to score as early as possible to level the aggregate score. Then the match starts anew and the tactics will have to change."
The Bundesliga club are again without playmaker Lincoln, who has failed to overcome a knee problem, but Slomka remains confident defender Marcelo Bordon will start after he came through training on Wednesday. Gustavo Varela, however, has injured ankle ligaments and joins Kevin Kuranyi on the sidelines. Slomka could be forced to make at least two changes from the defeat in Sicily as Mladen Krstajić and Zlatan Bajramović are rated doubtful.
Schalke are unbeaten in ten months at the Arena Aufschalke, but will face a stern test from a Palermo team boosted by Sunday's 2-0 win against fellow UEFA Cup contenders Udinese Calcio. Left-back Fabio Grosso and playmaker Eugenio Corini are both available after recovering from injuries. Grosso had been a major doubt because of a thigh problem.
Forward David Di Michele, who scored against Udinese, is cup-tied so Franco Brienza or Stephen Makinwa will come in. "It would be a mistake just to defend our lead in Gelsenkirchen," Makinwa said. "It will not be easy against Schalke because they are a very good team. However, if we play with the same determination and spirit we showed in the first leg, we will have a good chance to progress."
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