Domenico Tedesco: Massive test in our own back yard

All Königsblauen enjoy reminiscing about the last game of last season against Eintracht Frankfurt, where players and fans alike celebrated finishing runners-up in the VELTINS-Arena. After a long 91 day break, die Knappen return to their home ground on Saturday at 16:00 (CEST) to take on Fiorentina. When the game kicks off, a player who took part in those same celebrations in May could be playing on the opposing team.

Domenico Tedesco

All those involved are looking forward to their first game at home after the long summer break. “After almost three months without a home game in the VELTINS-Arena, the whole team is looking forward to this massive test in our own back yard,” says Domenico Tedesco, describing the team’s attitude. The game against the two time Italian champions is the last measure of preparation before Schalke take on Schweinfurt 05 in the DFB-Pokal almost a week later on Friday 17th at 20:45 (CEST).

Serious Preparation

Tedesco is attaching more to the clash than just sporting value. “We’ll be lining up against Fiorentina like we will be next weekend in the DFB-Pokal. Both teams are therefore taking their preparation seriously,” said the manager, anticipating important lessons to be learned from the game. The club from Tuscany, who start their Serie A campaign against Sampdoria two days after Schalke’s DFB-Pokal match, arrived on German soil last week. In a quick-fire tournament they emerged as victors against hosts Mainz and Athletico Bilbao, before drawing with Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1. Fiorentina’s last meeting with Schalke was almost two years ago. That time Schalke won a friendly 3-1 while on training camp in Mittersill in Zell am See.

Last season the team managed by Stefano Pioli finished eighth in Serie A. Tedesco is preparing his squad for a strong opponent: “Fiorentina have a good team, which missed qualification for the Europa League by a hair’s breadth last season. This year they’ll give everything to be on the international stage again for next season.”

Marko Pjaca returns

Helping Fiorentina to try and achieve this aim will be a player who’ll meet a lot of his former teammates at the VELTINS-Arena. A few days ago Fiorentina made the transfer of Marko Pjaca official. The Croatian World Cup runner-up, who played for the Knappen seven times in the second half of last season’s campaign, is on loan from Juventus. At the place where he said farewell almost three months ago, the attacking player could now play for his new team for the first time. “I’m looking forward to seeing Marko Pjaca again. He’s a good lad, who scored two important goals for us in the second half of last season and also had a part in our successful performance,” said Tedesco, praising his former player.

The coach cannot definitively answer the question as to who will start for Schalke on Saturday: “We’ll have to do without a few injured players. I’ll decide on those players who are now available coming back from injury after the final training session.” The pleasant excitement of the long-awaited match on home soil remains unspoilt however, despite the uncertainty surrounding the starting line-up. “I hope as many fans as possible come to the stadium tomorrow,” says Tedesco, wanting a successful conclusion to pre-season in front of home support.

Share page

You may also be interested in


Malick Thiaw suspended for two cup games

The DFB sporting tribunal has suspended Malick Thiaw for two DFB-Pokal games, due to unsportsmanlike conduct. The defender will be unavailable for all of FC Schalke 04’s cup matches until the full length of the ban has been served.


Dimitrios Grammozis: We started badly

Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis and striker Marius Bülter were both disappointed after Schalke were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday evening (26/10). TSV 1860 München coach Michael Köllner, on other hand, was delighted with his side’s 1-0 victory.


10-man Schalke beaten at 1860 in the DFB-Pokal

FC Schalke 04 failed to reach the round of 16 in this season’s DFB-Pokal after losing 1-0 away to TSV 1860 München on Tuesday night (26/10). The only goal of the game was scored in the fifth minute by Stefan Lex in front of 15,000 fans at the sold out Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße. S04 played most of the second half with ten men, with Malick Thiaw sent off for a professional foul in the 48th minute.


Dimitrios Grammozis: Use our momentum to reach the next round

Busy week ahead for the Royal Blues: Just three days after the 3-0 home win against Dynamo Dresden, FC Schalke 04 will be in DFB-Pokal action away to TSV 1860 München. For Dimitrios Grammozis and his players, the goal is reaching the next round, but the head coach has stressed that Tuesday evening’s game will be anything but easy.