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Stevens ponders Schalke shake-up for Arsenal

Saturday's defeat has prompted Huub Stevens to consider changes to his FC Schalke 04 team as they strive to stay top of Group B against an Arsenal FC side with their own worries.

Stevens ponders Schalke shake-up for Arsenal
Stevens ponders Schalke shake-up for Arsenal ©UEFA.com

Huub Stevens is considering making changes to his FC Schalke 04 team for the UEFA Champions League encounter with Arsenal FC as a response to the Royal Blues' eight-match unbeaten record ending at the weekend. The Group B leaders lost 3-2 to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, a defeat the coach says his players must "learn from" and which may prompt him to reshuffle his pack and include some "fresher players". Meanwhile, visiting manager Arsène Wenger has encouraged his side to bounce back from their own domestic disappointment and remember "how good they are". 

Huub Stevens, coach
I don't know exactly in which formation Arsenal will start. I don't know who is injured there. We have to focus on ourselves. We will have to think about who will start for us. We have three keepers and one of them will stand between the posts, but I will not answer now who that will be. We changed our formation for the [3-0 German Cup win] against Sandhausen. I don't know yet if we will change it again. We are not thinking about this weekend's defeat at Hoffenheim anymore.

We might change the team to bring in some fresher players. We have left the last Bundesliga game behind us and are focusing on this Champions League match. I have no idea why Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is scoring in the Champions League on a regular basis and not in the Bundesliga – you have to ask him that question. We have to learn from our experiences. The match in Hoffenheim is something we have to learn from.

Weekend result
Saturday: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-2 Schalke (Volland 13, Roberto Firmino 67pen, Schipplock 90+1; Neustädter 37, Uchida 82)
Unnerstall; Uchida, Höwedes, Matip (Papadopoulos 83), Fuchs; Jones (Marica 77), Neustädter; Farfán, Holtby (Draxler 64), Afellay; Huntelaar.

• Atsuto Uchida scored his first Bundesliga goal in his 51st appearance in the German top flight but could not prevent a 3-2 defeat that ended Schalke's eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Team news
Christoph Metzelder has not featured since sustaining an adductor injury in the 3-0 win against SV Sandhausen in the German Cup second round on 30 October. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is also unavailable after suffering a blow to the head in training.

Arsène Wenger, manager
We are a bit concerned about our recent form. Our start to the season was very promising, but lately it has been difficult for us. We are not only concerned about the result against Manchester United but the manner in which we lost. Schalke are a very good team, we could see that in the first match. We did not have many chances, and while we did not allow them many, they made theirs count [in winning 2-0].

We want to respond and the best way to do so is by coming out with a good performance tomorrow. We are still in a good position in the group, but now we need a result after losing at home. We are still confident in defence, we have one of the best defences in the league. So if we look at the number of goals we concede, that's not really our problem. We don't have to focus too much on that.

We need to get back to what we are good at. Our game is about creating chances, finding opportunities and finding the offensive attacking drive we have been lacking. I have a team of great players but at the moment they seem to have forgotten how good they are. We have to find our enthusiasm again, the joy of playing and I don't want them to go out on the pitch and worry too much about not conceding. 

Weekend result
Saturday: Manchester United FC 2-1 Arsenal (Van Persie 3, Evra 67; Cazorla 90+5)
Mannone; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla; Ramsey (Walcott 52), Giroud, Podolski (Arshavin 81).

• Arsenal had Jack Wilshere sent off as they suffered their third defeat in five Premier League games. It means the Gunners have picked up just 15 points in ten league matches, their worst tally at this stage of the campaign since 1994/95, two seasons before Wenger arrived. 

Team news
Wojciech Szczęsny (ankle), Łukasz Fabiański (back), Kieran Gibbs (thigh), Abou Diaby (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip), Tomáš Rosický (tendon) and Aaron Ramsey (groin) are all out, while Theo Walcott (stomach) remains doubtful. 

Match fact
• 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.

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