Domenico Tedesco: We have a number of options

Domenico Tedesco became the latest victim of the flu as he was struck down with illness earlier in the week. But the head coach is now well on the road to recovery and looking forward to this Saturday’s (16.02) home game against SC Freiburg, with one thing in mind: “We need to score goals.”

Tedesco held a private team training session ahead of Saturday’s fixture. “We need to give everything we’ve got,” demanded the 33-year-old, who is envisages a tough opposition. “Freiburg have a lot of intelligence in their game. They have many good players who work very hard.”

We need to score goals.

Domenico Tedesco

This was evident in Freiburg’s last game, as they came from behind three times to earn a point in a 3-3 draw against VfL Wolfsburg. Schalke will have to be wary of both attackers: Florian Niederlechner and Nils Petersen. “They’re both in good form,” acknowledged Tedesco.

Several options for Caliguiri replacement

Schalke will have to make do without Daniel Caliguiri, who will be unavailable to play against his former employers due to suspension, with Tedesco still unsure on who will replace the 31-year-old. “We have a number of options, and several ideas in mind,” declared Tedesco, who will also be without Breel Embolo (fractured metatarsal), Alessandro Schöpf (lateral collateral ligament – left knee) and Benjamin Stambouli (fractured cheekbone).

“Breel was able to complete parts of training after a longer break, but still needs some time,” declared sporting director Axel Schuster. The club is awaiting doctors approval regarding Benjamin Stambouli, while Matija Nastasic, who was named on the bench against FC Bayern Munich, is available for selection again.

Guido Burgstaller and Steven Skrzybski are also doing well. “Burgi trained with the team for the first time in two weeks. After a long time out, he feels good and pain-free,” reported Tedesco. The Austrian, who two months ago picked up a calf injury and an Achilles problem – which also caused a tendon injury – will soon be in contention again for a place in the starting XI. Meanwhile, Schalke will be able to assess the results of an MRI scan carried out on Skrzybski soon. “Stevie may even be able to make Saturday’s match day squad,” stated Tedesco.

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