Take matters into our own hands

FC Schalke 04 travelled to Porto with a clear goal on Tuesday (27/11). “We want to secure our place in the last 16,” said Ralf Fährmann ahead of the Champions League match with Portuguese champions FC Porto.

The two teams at the top of Group D will face off in the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday (28/11) at 21:00 CET. Porto currently have ten points from their four games, while S04 have eight points and thus a four point lead over third-placed Galatasaray. Lokomotiv Moscow are bottom of the group with no points and therefore have no chance of making it out of the group.

“If we win then we are definitely through”, stated Christian Heidel. The Royal Blues don’t necessarily have to gain any points in Portugal to progress though. If Galatasaray do not win in Moscow (the game kicks off at 18:55 CET), then Schalke would already be into the next round. “Of course we will keep one eye on the game in Moscow. I’m sure that Lokomotiv will not want to lose the game, as they still have to chance to finish third and play in the Europa League knockout stages”, said Heidel.

We haven’t come to Porto to lose.

Christian Heidel

The sporting director also added: “We haven’t come to Porto to lose. Our goal is to win against the strongest opponents in the group.” The recent 5-2 win over 1. FC Nürnberg in the Bundesliga is one reason for the Royal Blues to be optimistic. “It’s always nice to go into a Champions League game on the back of a win.” If the team can be as clinical in front of goal, then a similar result could be possible in Porto.

Stambouli looking forward to a fantastic European night

“It will be a very difficult game,” warned Benjamin Stambouli. “Porto are at home, they are in good form and have lots of quality up front. Nonetheless, we have our own talented players and we will give our all to try and get the optimal result.”

The defender was able to study his potential opponents in detail, as he missed the home game due to injury. “I was initially very sad to be missing the game, especially when the Champions League anthem was playing. But as soon as the game began, I was there supporting my team and lived every minute with them.”

Now Stambouli cannot wait to hear the anthem once again on the pitch. “An attractive opponent, a great stadion and a chance to make the knockout stages – I cannot wait for a fantastic European night,” exclaimed the Frenchman.

The following players have travelled to Porto:

Goalkeepers: Ralf Fährmann, Alexander Nübel, Michael Langer*

Defenders: Hamza Mendyl, Matija Nastasic, Abdul Rahman Baba, Benjamin Stambouli, Bastian Oczipka*, Salif Sané, Naldo

Midfielders: Omar Mascarell, Suat Serdar, Nabil Bentaleb, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Sebastian Rudy, Johannes Geis*, Daniel Caligiuri, Amine Harit

Strikers: Franco Di Santo, Guido Burgstaller, Steven Skrzybski

*These players are not registered for the Champions League match, but have travelled to Porto as the squad will go directly to Hoffenheim for the Bundesliga match. 

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