Focus for the first home game: A different performance to last time, pick up a positive result
14 weeks since the last game at the VELTINS-Arena, Schalke 04 are back in action with their first home game of the new season on Saturday (26/09). The Royal Blues face Werder Bremen at 18:30 CEST and will hope for a change of ways.
In Friday’s press conference ahead of the game against Werder Bremen, head coach David Wagner responded to the criticism that followed the unsuccessful start to the season against treble-winners Bayern Munich. Wagner said the team will “build up energy, which we will release tomorrow” in a match the coach is confident of coming away from with three points.
Wagner is also hoping that the potential return of fans to the VELTINS-Arena after over half a year will provide support for the players. A final decision on whether the game will be held with fans in attendance is yet to be made, with authorities keeping an eye on the local infection rates.
Nastasic and Sané complete full training
A fully-recovered Matija Nastasic, who picked up a head injury in the friendly against VfL Bochum, will offer the head coach an alternative option in defence. Salif Sané also returned to full training with the team during the week, but Suat Serdar missed out after sustaining an injury in Munich. One member of the first-team squad also tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday (24/09) and is self-isolating, and will therefore be unavailable for the clash.
We have everything we need to be successful tomorrow.
Despite the surprise setback, Wagner is optimistic that his team can be successful on Saturday and show a different outing to last week against Bayern. “My confidence is born out of the trust that I have in the team and the week of training that we’ve had, and that we are fully aware of what’s ahead of us on Saturday,” said Wagner. “I am certain that we can turn our situation around, starting with tomorrow’s game, and that we have everything we need to be successful in this match.” Wagner says that the team know what they have to do. “Now, it’s all about putting that into practice!”