Preview: Schalke v Sporting

Roberto Di Matteo wants FC Schalke 04 "to dominate" in only his second game in charge, while Sporting Clube de Portugal have been told "not to be frightened".

Roberto Di Matteo took charge of Schalke earlier this month
Roberto Di Matteo took charge of Schalke earlier this month ©AFP/Getty Images

Schalke's Roberto Di Matteo describes Sporting double-header as "very important"
The Royal Blues sit second, having drawn their first two Group G games
Di Matteo says Sporting are "technically strong" and "dangerous" 
Marco Silva wants Sporting "to believe in their own quality"
Sporting have lost just once in all competitions this season

Possible lineups
Schalke: Fährmann; Uchida, Höwedes, Ayhan, Aogo; Neustädter, Höger; Choupo-Moting, Boateng, Draxler; Huntelaar.
Out: Giefer (groin), Santana (thigh), Kolašinac (knee), Farfán (knee)
Doubtful: Sam (thigh), Goretzka (thigh)

Sporting: Patrício; Cédric, Maurício, Oliveira, Silva; William, João Mário, Adrien; Carrillo, Nani, Slimani.
Out:
Rabia (stomach)

Roberto Di Matteo, Schalke coach
We will have to watch a few players closely in training to see how they have recovered and how fit they are. Among those are [Kevin-Prince] Boateng, [Joel] Matip, [Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting and [Benedikt] Höwedes.

Our position is certainly not a bad one. We will have to try to win our home matches because in my experience it is very tough winning away games in the Champions League. So we will have to try to dominate and get those three points. Sporting are very dangerous and have some very good individuals.

Maribor are still part of the equation. They registered two draws in their first two games and have a good team as well. Now it is about two games against Sporting – we have to get results at home and away. I don't think anything has been decided yet, but surely the next two games will be very important.

Sporting are a technically strong side who like having the ball and play a 4-3-3 formation. In Marco Silva, they have an outstanding young coach with good ideas. We must not allow them possession and to play their game.

Sporting coach Marco Silva
Sporting coach Marco Silva©AFP/Getty Images

Marco Silva, Sporting coach
Every game is a challenge in its own right that we have to accept and overcome. Sporting have never won in Germany before, but we are well prepared for the game and want to win it. I ask my players not to be frightened going into the game, but to believe in their own quality and skill.

Of course [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar is an important player for them, but Schalke have lots of quality players and if we mentioned all of them we would still be here tomorrow morning. Their coach has enormous experience and though they haven't made the best of starts to the season, they got good results against Chelsea and Dortmund, which says enough.

They are very strong opposition, but we are also full of confidence. The media often base their analysis only on results, but you also have to look at a team's development. We are in a very good position right now – we are compact and enjoying a good run. However, we have not got to where we want to go yet.

Weekend results
Schalke 2-0 Hertha BSC Berlin (Huntelaar 19, Draxler 65)
Porto 1-3 Sporting (Jackson Martínez 35; Marcano og 31, Nani 39, Carrillo 83)

Form guide (all competitions)
Schalke: WLDWWD
Sporting: WWLDWD

Match facts
• Which Sporting player was born in Gelsenkirchen? Find out in our extensive match background.

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