Domenico Tedesco: We have two top goalkeepers
Four days after the unfortunate 2-0 home defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Royal Blues have the chance to return to winning ways in a different competition. On Wednesday, 6th February (20:45 CET), FC Schalke host Fortuna Düsseldorf in the DFB-Pokal round of sixteen. One of the aims for this match will be to repeat the performance shown in the opening 60 minutes against the Foals.
Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco described the defeat as a setback for the team. However, the Royal Blues were providing tough opposition for Gladbach right up until goalkeeper Alexander Nübel’s red card dismissal. “We had some really good combination play in the match, but unfortunately we were missing that venom in front of goal,” admitted the coach as he reflected on Saturday’s defeat against the Foals. The target for his side ahead of the forthcoming cup tie: “We have to create more one-on-one situations and win our battles. This is something we didn’t do enough against Gladbach.”
Matija Nastasic suffering calf problems
The 33-year-old coach will wait until matchday to decide who he will name in his starting lineup for the round of sixteen match. “Following the match against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Matija Nastasic suffered a couple of calf problems,” said Schalke sporting director Axel Schuster. Winter signing Jeffrey Bruma is available to cover for the Serbian if necessary and Tedesco may be forced into this change.
Two players, who have missed recent weeks with injury, have returned to team training ahead of the match with Düsseldorf. Guido Burgstaller and Amine Harit have returned to team training but are both doubts ahead of the match on Wednesday, especially Burgstaller. “When a player has been out of action for such a long time, as Guido Burgstaller has, then they require longer to make a full recovery back to first team action,” said Tedesco. Amine Harit’s situation is different and he is more likely to return to the squad. “He has been training individually for a while now and the training has helped him to fully recover,” reported Tedesco.
Fährmann to start in goal against Düsseldorf
There are no uncertainties surrounding who will start in goal for the Royal Blues on Wednesday night. “Ralf Fährmann will play in goal. We spoke about this internally in the build-up to this match,” explained Tedesco. “We are in the lucrative situation of having two top goalkeepers.” Fährmann will replace Alexander Nübel in goal after the 22 year-old was suspended for two Bundesliga matches following his red card against Gladbach. Nübel was available for the DFB-Pokal match but Tedesco has opted to start Fährmann.
Our aim is to reach the quarter-finals
FC Schalke 04 welcome Fortuna Düsseldorf to the VELTINS-Arena on Wednesday night and the visitors come into this match on the back of improving form. Although the Rheinland club had no chance in a 4-0 home defeat to RB Leipzig on matchday 19, Friedhelm Funkel’s side had won four consecutive matches leading to that match. Last weekend, Fortuna also secured a deserved point away at 1899 Hoffenheim. “Düsseldorf played very well in Hoffenheim,” says Tedesco. “They defend in a compact formation, can win the ball in any situation but in this match started very well. They are also very patient,” analysed the Schalke coach, who especially praised Fortuna’s strikers. However, the 33 year-old has turned his main focus to how his team will approach the match. He added: “Our aim is to reach the quarter-finals and secure our place as one of the best eight teams in Germany in this competition.”