Royal Blues want to stick to their game plan against Augsburg
Schalke host Augsburg in the final home game of the calendar year on Wednesday (20:30 CET). FCA have proved one of this season’s surprise packages and are only three points below Schalke in seventh place.
Schalke 04 unbeaten in ten
Captain Ralf Fährmann’s team are unbeaten in nine Bundesliga games, ten when you count the DFB-Pokal victory against SV Wehen Wiesbaden. “It’s a nice run, it sounds good, but it’s not actually that important,” said head coach Domenico Tedesco, underlining that his team are taking things game by game. “We go into every game wanting to win.”
That you could also look at Schalke’s recent run according to their three consecutive draws is also of secondary importance, particularly as two of those came against top sides in Dortmund and Mönchengladbach. Those fixtures are never easy.
Tedesco: FCA have a clear game plan
Tedesco has a high opinion of Wednesday’s opponents: “You wouldn’t necessarily have predicted Augsburg doing so well at the start of the season,” he commented. “When you analyse their performances, it’s not surprising at all though. FCA have a clear game plan on the pitch and a real dynamic.” The Bavarian team are very well coordinated going forward, seldom lose the ball and have been efficient in front of goal.
Schalke’s head coach emphasised how important it was for his team to implement their own game plan. “We want to build from that second-half performance against Mönchengladbach. There were a lot of positives there,” Tedesco reflected. “We’ll be counting on the backing of our fans who have carried us since the first game. We’re aiming to finish the year with two wins!”
Few changes expected in squad
Alessandro Schöpf could return to the squad that played against Mönchengladbach. The Austria international missed the past game with a knee problem, but “he’s feeling a lot better. He isn’t in pain anymore and could be an option on Wednesday,” explained Tedesco.
Leon Goretzka will also miss out against Augsburg. He has suffered a setback on a lower leg injury. “We’re taking it day by day with Leon. We won’t risk him against Augsburg because the player’s health is the most important thing,” said Tedesco.
Match facts and stats
The Royal Blues are unbeaten in nine Bundesliga matches. It is their longest unbeaten run in almost 11 years.
Schalke haven’t lost to FCA at the VELTINS-Arena in six games, winning five and drawing one.
Daniel Caligiuri cross against Mönchengladbach was the fifth match in a row he’s been directly involved in a goal.
FCA have lost four games this season – a club record.