Thomas Reis ahead of Werder: An XI that could start in Frankfurt too

The second part of the Bundesliga season is edging ever closer. FC Schalke 04 will host Werder Bremen in a friendly on Saturday (14/1) at 15:30 CET, exactly a week before the first league game of 2023 away to Eintracht Frankfurt.

“The starting XI at the VELTINS-Arena will be one that could well be the same a week later in Frankfurt,” said Thomas Reis, who will not be using two different teams as he did during the friendlies in Belek. Reis made 10 substitutions at the break against FC Zürich (plus Andreas Ivan had come on in the first half for the injured Sebastian Polter), and brought on eight players for the second half against 1. FC Nürnberg.

A number of absentees

Reis explained that the starting XI for Frankfurt is not yet set in stone. “We’ve got a week of training to go, a lot can happen in that time. One or two players might force their way into the side.” Schalke will be without several players against Werder on Saturday. Mehmet Can Aydin and Sidi Sané are both injured, as well as Niklas Tauer. The winter signing from Mainz has a muscular problem.

As well as that trio, Alex Král (back problem), Justin Heekeren and Sebastian Polter will not play. They both left the training camp in Turkey early due to knee injuries. Leo Greiml, Sepp van den Berg, Thomas Ouwejan and Rodrigo Zalazar are also all unavailable as they recover from injuries sustained before the winter break.

Ibrahima Cissé will not be in the squad on Saturday either. The centre-back has been sent to train with the U23s instead. “We’ve got a midweek game coming up soon. We need all our players to be fully focused if we’re going to be successful. I’ve had the feeling recently that Ibrahima hasn’t been focused enough to help us in our current situation,” reported Reis. “I’m confident that he’s better off in the U23s right now. Good performances can earn him a spot in the first team once again.”

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