Preview: Schalke v Maribor

As FC Schalke 04 prepare to host NK Maribor the key question is whether they are drained after beating Borussia Dortmund or reinvigorated? The coaches are unanimous.

Schalke training on Monday
Schalke training on Monday ©Getty Images

Jens Keller says Schalke are a renewed force after Saturday's derby win
The German side have identified Maribor's set pieces as their biggest threat
Ante Šimundža says if that's the case his team have kept their strengths well-hidden
Just back from long-term lay-off, Atsuto Uchida could be rested for injury-hit Schalke
Šimundža has a full quotient of players to choose from, with no major worries

Possible lineups
Schalke: Fährmann; Höger, Matip, Neustädter, Fuchs; Boateng, Aogo; Clemens, Meyer, Draxler; Huntelaar.
Out: Höwedes (hip), Felipe Santana (adductor), Kolašinac (knee), Goretzka (thigh), Kirchhoff (knee), Farfán (knee), Giefer (adductor), Sam (back)
Doubtful: Uchida (fitness)

Maribor: Handanovič; Stojanovič, Rajčevič, Šuler, Viler; Vršič, Mertelj, Filipović, Bohar; Ibraimi, Tavares.

Jens Keller, Schalke coach
Tomorrow is the group stage of the Champions League. Every player wants to be there, it is a real event when that music plays. It will not be a problem to motivate the team for this, even after such a big derby at the weekend. We have to take the three points. We are favourites, no doubt about that. But we also know things don't happen by themselves.

A team that beats Celtic and holds Sporting at home has quality. Maribor defend very deep. They deny opponents space, they are very compact. They are especially good at set pieces. There will not be a lot of space and it will be a tight game. I will not elaborate on how we plan on opening them up.

Given our results, you could say that the crisis is behind us after back-to-back wins but we are not where we want to be just yet. We have wasted the opening phase of the season. We cannot allow ourselves too many slips now. But the wins and performances have given the team a timely boost.

Ante Šimundža, Maribor coach
We are well aware that a difficult game lies ahead of us. It will be a match with a high tempo, very quick and intense. We believe we are capable of playing such a game and doing so at the highest level over the full 90 minutes. Yes, I believe we can do it.

Maribor celebrate after the Sporting draw
Maribor celebrate after the Sporting draw©Getty Images

If they are so heavily focused on our ability to close down the centre and our set pieces, then that means we have been able to keep our other strengths well hidden. I am very confident we do have a lot of other strengths as well, which we want to demonstrate.

We don't count on Schalke being tired after their derby, they are used to playing strong teams in the Bundesliga, so this really doesn't matter. We are well aware that they have a technical advantage, they are very quick and will be supported by numerous and very loud fans, which is of course a strength in itself. But we will try to combat that with our strengths and we are optimistic that we will prevail.

Weekend results
Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (Joel Matip 10, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 23; Aubameyang 26)
NK Radomlje 0-0 Maribor

Form guide (all competitions)
Schalke: WWDDLD
Maribor: DWWDWL

Match facts
• Maribor played Schalke's Bundesliga rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen in their sole previous group stage campaign, in 1999/2000 – what was the score in Germany? Find out in our extensive match background.

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