Dimitrios Grammozis with several options for the Latza role in Kiel

Schalke are off to Kiel. On Sunday (1 August) the Royal Blues face their first away game of the season with kick-off in the Holstein-Stadion at 13:30 CEST. Dimitrios Grammozis gave a squad update ahead of the trip.

Dimitrios Grammozis

The Knappen will be without Danny Latza at the weekend, after he injured his cruciate ligament in the opening game against HSV. “Our captain’s injury is a real blow for us. You could see that we were missing Danny as a person and a leadership figure. We can only fill his boots as a team,” said the head coach. “I hope he gets back on his feet as quickly as possible.”

Grammozis has a few ideas on how to fill the boots of Danny Latza in the Schalke midfield. “Blendi Idrizi played well after coming on against HSV. Yaroslav Mikhailov and Florian Flick are also options,” said the coach, naming three. The 43-year-old added that he intends to wait until after the remaining two training sessions before deciding on his starting XI.

Ralf Fährmann still in quarantine at home

Aside from Latza, all other players from the squad against HSV are still available to the head coach. Ralf Fährmann is still in quarantine following a positive Covid-19 test. “From the start of next week he will be allowed back out,” said Grammozis.

We can only fill our captain Danny Latza’s boots as a team.

Dimitrios Grammozis

The Schalke head coach has a successful week of training behind him, during which the team not only worked on various aspects of their game, but even played a friendly against SSVg Velbert at short notice. All players who did not start against HSV featured in the 7-0 friendly win. Grammozis told us that his players are all enthusiastic about training and are extremely committed to the cause. In several positions, only nuances will determine which players start.

Looking ahead

The coach has now chalked off the 3-1 defeat on the opening day against Hamburger SV, but admits to having been extremely disappointed, along with the rest of the team: “We really wanted to win in front of the outstanding support at the VELTINS-Arena and give our fans a win to celebrate. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that.”

Grammozis went on to reiterate that his team did a lot of things well against HSV, but that not everything, including chance conversion, was up to scratch. “Of course we’re frustrated by the goals we conceded, all of which were unnecessary. We know to take all that on board. Also that we need a lot more composure in our game on the ball, that was lacking a bit. We mustn’t forget though, that this is an almost completely new team on the pitch,” said the 43-year-old. “We had stability at the back up until the 86th minute, gave them next to nothing. I’m taking the positives from this game, and the team is finding itself more and more every day.”

Holstein Kiel, who finished last season in third place but missed out on promotion through the playoff, also started the season with a defeat. The Storks lost 3-0 away to St. Pauli.


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