No surprises as Basel welcome Schalke
Monday, September 30, 2013
"We know exactly what will happen," said FC Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller as he prepares for a reunion with FC Basel 1893's Murat Yakin, whose tactics hold no secrets.
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FC Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller revealed that there are unlikely to be any surprises in the offing at St. Jakob-Park after he and his FC Basel 1893 counterpart Murat Yakin swapped notes on tactics at a recent coaches' meeting at UEFA headquarters in Nyon. As for Yakin, he is pondering his attacking options as the hosts look to build on their shock opening Group E win at Chelsea FC.
Murat Yakin, coach
The situation is clear, the two teams who came out of it well on the previous matchday are playing against each other. Both of us want to win and we will try to challenge them. Against Chelsea we had nothing to lose as they were the favourites [and] teams like Chelsea will not throw a lead away too often like they did, so we have to be prepared.
All our attackers right now are fit and in form, none of them deserves to be on the bench. It was maybe a surprise that we played with four attackers against Chelsea. We will have to see if this is possible tomorrow as some of them have minor knocks, nothing serious, but we will decide tomorrow if the same lineup is possible or if we have to change. The players have to be at their best, week after week and that has its effects on their physical condition.
Saturday: Basel 2-2 FC Sion (Stocker 57, Salah 65; Vanczak 3, Assifuah 87)
Sommer; Voser, Schär (Sauro 70), Ivanov, Safari; F Frei (Díaz 64), T Xhaka; Salah, Delgado, Stocker (Elneny 83); Streller.
• Despite conceding after three minutes, Basel looked like certain winners until three minutes before the final whistle. Valentin Stocker equalised from 25 metre with a shot that found the far corner and Mohamed Salah soon made it 2-1. Basel had chances to extend their lead, but a few minutes before the end their run of five straight wins was ended.
Fabian Schär was treated in hospital after hurting his knee on Saturday but he trained on Monday with the knee bandaged and Yakin said: "He will be tested tomorrow morning and we will decide if he can play. Otherwise all our players are available."
Jens Keller, coach
We're playing away and Basel have won in London [2-1 at Chelsea] so I think that Basel are favourites. But nothing can change as quickly as football. I met Murat Yakin in Nyon [at the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum] and we exchanged our tactical [ideas]. I told him how we will play and he told me how Basel will play, so there will be no big surprises. We know exactly what will happen. The strength of FC Basel is that they can play with different tactics; they can change their tactics during the match a few times. We saw that against Chelsea and it was impressive.
Valentin Stocker is a very good player with great qualities but we have some good players too. Against very good players you have to defend as a team and not just one on one. We will do our best, and I think at this level we will always play against good players and this will be the case here. I will do my best to prepare our side.
Saturday: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-3 Schalke (Modeste 16, Firmino 48pen, Abraham 63; Boateng 3, J Matip 13, Höger 40)
Hildebrand; Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Aogo; Jones (Neustädter 86), Höger; Meyer (Szalai 78), Boateng, Clemens (Goretzka 62); Farfan.
• Having been 3-1 up, Schalke were eventually grateful to draw at a venue where they have never won, Hoffenheim hitting the post and missing another good chance late on. Max Meyer made his first start and set up the opening goal for Kevin-Prince Boateng, who had shrugged off a knee problem to play.
Keller is "optimistic" that Julian Draxler will be available after he missed Saturday's match with a knee injury. Christian Fuchs, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Chinedu Obasi all remain sidelined, though, and Jermaine Jones is also unavailable for Tuesday's game.
• The sides met in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, drawing 1-1 in Gelsenkirchen on 21 October 2004. Basel substitute Matías Delgado scored a late free-kick to earn a point for the visitors, who also included the Degen brothers. Levan Kobiashvili had put the home team ahead.