Domenico Tedesco: Cleared our heads from the disappointment

After their harsh exit from the DFB-Pokal in the semi-final, FC Schalke 04 now turn their focus fully to the Bundesliga run-in. “Obviously the team were disappointed after the defeat. We’ve collected our thoughts and are now looking ahead to the upcoming clash. We’ve cleared our heads,” said Domenico Tedesco ahead of Sunday’s trip to 1. FC Köln.

Domenico Tedesco

If results go their way, Schalke could secure a place in next season’s Champions League on Sunday with a win. If RB Leipzig and 1899 Hoffenheim share the spoils in their clash and Frankfurt don’t win against Hertha BSC. Domenico Tedesco is focusing solely on his own team’s performance. “We simply want to do our best,” he emphasised.

Köln still have small chance of survival

The situation facing Sunday’s opponent is very different. After Köln’s 2-1 loss to Hertha BSC and 1. FSV Mainz 05’s 2-0 win over SC Freiburg, Köln’s situation is looking ever more perilous. With a nine point deficit and four games remaining, the club’s sixth relegation in its history looks on the cards.

Tedesco though is wary of the weekend’s opposition. “Köln have shown many times that they haven’t given up. I think they have a lot of good players in the side who helped them qualify for the Europa League,” said the 32-year-old. Sunday’s hosts showed that quality in their 2-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Köln have shown many times that they haven’t given up.

Domenico Tedesco

Schalke know teams at the foot of the table can be dangerous as the Knappen found out in their 3-2 defeat at the hands of Hamburger SV. “That game was a warning,” said Tedesco. He added though: “We aren’t spending our whole time preparing for Köln by talking about the HSV game.”

Rotation is possible

Tedesco is happy heading into the weekend’s action: “Against Frankfurt, we thankfully didn’t pick up any new injuries. Everyone’s available.” That includes Breel Embolo who has been recently out with a muscle problem.

Whether the Royal Blues will rotate and give game time to those who have been on the bench of late for the game in Köln is in the hands of Tedesco. “We could do, but we might not,” remarked the coach who is waiting on the training sessions to come before making his decisions.

Facts and stats ahead of the game

S04 have won seven of their last eight games in the Bundesliga and are currently in second place behind defending champions Bayern Munich.

The Knappen have played in Köln 41 times and no game between the sides has ever ended goalless.

Naldo has scored in his last two Bundesliga games and, with seven goals to his name, tops the goalscoring charts for defenders.