Domenico Tedesco: On a good day, Wolfsburg can beat anyone

When FC Schalke 04 head to VfL Wolfsburg, before a ball was kicked this season, you’d have thought this would be a clash for European spots for both sides. The reality is far from it. On Saturday night, the second placed side from Gelsenkirchen head to the Volkswagen Arena to take on the team fourth-bottom in the table.

Domenico Tedesco

Only goal-difference is keeping Wolfsburg from the relegation zone. Despite their placing in the table, players such as Divock Origi, Daniel Didavi and Yunus Malli have enough quality to demand the Knappen’s respect.

Big names and genuine quality

“Wolfsburg have a side full of quality players, especially on the ball. Maybe sometimes that stops them from being dangerous in front of goal. They like to control possession and keep their opponent moving,” analysed Domenico Tedesco. We’ll have to wait and see how Wolfsburg’s head coach, Bruno Labbadia, changes their set-up for Saturday’s game as he’s only had three games to put his stamp on the team.

They like to control possession and keep their opponent moving.

Domenico Tedesco

For Tedesco, he sees the trip to Wolfsburg as a very different game to the others Schalke have had of late, even if it might come down to the same fine margins as the others. “On a good day, Wolfsburg can beat anyone,” warned the head coach ahead of Wolfsburg. The lads have to be wary and will have to give their all to beat Wolfsburg. Schalke are going to have to call upon all the assets that have put them in good stead so far this season: A will to win, character, mentality as well as an intelligence as seen in the wins versus Mainz and Hertha BSC.

Kehrer an option, McKennie doubtful

After Thilo Kehrer picked up a black eye in the Mainz game, he was only partially able to participate in team training. However, the defender could still be an option for Tedesco in Wolfsburg. “Thilo has been superb recently and his injury hasn’t meant he’s missed too much. Today, he could have theoretically trained but we’re waiting for the green light from the doctor,” said the head coach. Weston McKennie may also not feature in Wolfsburg. The US international is overcoming muscular issues.

Facts and stats ahead of the game

Schalke have faced Wolfsburg thrice this season (1-1 in Bundesliga, 1-0 win in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final).

The Royal Blues have picked up ten points from a possible twelve against Wolfsburg in the  last four Bundesliga games. They’ve only lost one of their last eight games against the 2009 German champions.

Daniel Caligiuri, Naldo and Sascha Riether have featured for both sides.

In the last matchday, Schalke won when second in the table for the first time this season at the fourth time of asking.