Karel Geraerts: My team will be ready

FC Schalke 04 will host Karlsruher SC on Easter Sunday (31/3) at 13:30 CET as the two teams return to action following the international break. KSC, the league’s second-most prolific side after Fortuna Düsseldorf, will travel to Gelsenkirchen full of confidence. Head coach Karel Geraerts is also going into the game with a positive mindset, ensuring: “My team will be ready!”

Geraerts has been really pleased with what he’s seen in training over the past few days. “We have a tight-knit group at the minute and everyone has trained with a lot of energy,” he reported. The Belgian has also taken confidence from the performance at home to St. Pauli a month ago: “We beat the league leaders just four weeks ago. We know that we’re not the best team in the league, but at the same time we also know we can beat anyone.” He believes his side showed they wanted the victory more than their opponents against St. Pauli. “This needs to be the case on Sunday too. We have quality – we need to show it on the pitch.”

The S04 boss wants his team to defend as a unit against KSC, who have scored 55 goals already this season and won 7-0 against Magdeburg last time out. With Ron Schallenberg injured, there is a spot in the heart of the defence available next to Tomas Kalas. Geraerts didn’t reveal who would be selected, instead naming Ibrahima Cissé, Henning Matriciani and Marcin Kaminski as the candidates. Lino Tempelmann, Brandon Soppy and Leo Greiml will all also miss the game on Sunday.

More options in attack

Assan Ouédraogo, who played 75 minutes and scored the only goal in the friendly win over FC Gütersloh last week, is an option for Geraerts. “I spoke with Assan because it’s important for me to know what the players think. He said that he’s feeling good,” said the Schalke coach, adding that the fact that Ouédraogo has been in team training for the last two weeks working on his fitness has been helpful.

Geraerts has a few options in attack. Keke Topp, who scored twice for Germany U20s against France recently, Simon Terodde, who scored twice in Berlin last time out, and Bryan Lasme, who bagged a nice goal against Paderborn, are fighting for a spot in the starting XI. “I’ve got strikers full of confidence. I will make my decision on Sunday. I like having various options.”

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