Sights set on Champions League

One point. That’s all the Knappen need now to secure Champions League football for next season. Domenico Tedesco has however emphasised ahead of Saturday’s trip to Augsburg, that his team will not be playing for a draw: "We will go into the game wanting to win," said the head coach.

Domenico Tedesco

The 32-year-old has confessed himself pleased with his team’s concentration levels and hard work at training: “We have two big challenges ahead of us,” said Tedesco looking ahead to the remaining two Bundesliga games of the season. After Saturday’s away game in Augsburg, the Royal Blues welcome Frankfurt to the VELTINS-Arena for the final game of the season.

Augsburg threat from out wide

Schalke’s football mastermind has labelled Augsburg a robust opponent with a clear game plan. “The strikers know exactly where they need to go when the centre backs have the ball,” reported Tedesco, before adding: “FCA put in a lot of crosses – the second most in the league and are well equipped in the danger area with Michael Gregoritsch and Alfred Finnbogason.” For Schalke, the important thing is to defend and attack with a clear plan, says the boss: “We can definitely go into this game with confidence,” he exclaimed.

We can definitely go into this game with confidence.

Domenico Tedesco

Several possibilities for defensive midfield

The head coach wishes to wait until after the last few training sessions before picking his 18-man squad for the trip south. Breel Embolo, who was taken off with thigh problems in Cologne and missed out on the Gladbach game altogether, is on his way to recovery and is back in fitness training. Pablo Insua, on the other hand, who was also sidelined for the recent games, is back in full team training.

Schalke will definitely be without Nabil Bentaleb in Augsburg – the Algerian received a two-match suspension following his red card last weekend. Tedesco already has an idea of who might fill the 23-year-old’s boots. “Weston McKennie, Benjamin Stambouli and Alessandro Schöpf are options, and Leon Goretzka could play in defensive midfield too,” said the coach. “On the whole, we have a very versatile squad, lots of players can play in multiple positions.”

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