Howedes: Schalke desperate to win group

The 24-year-old is determined to help his side claim top spot in their Champions League group in order to avoid the stronger teams in the next stage
Benedikt Howedes is desperate for Schalke to beat Montpellier on Tuesday and be first in the standings in Group B.

The Bundesliga side go into the fixture just one point above second-placed Arsenal, knowing they will need to match their result against Olympiakos to win the group.

The Germany international hopes to clinch top spot which he believes would ultimately reduce their chances of facing the hardest teams in the last 16.

"We desperately want to win the game so that we win the group," he told reporters.

"If we win then we are separated from the toughest opponents in the next round. It is a good feeling already to be through and that enables us to play without any pressure."

Since the club have already progressed through to the next round, this has helped Huub Stevens make his squad selection for the encounter.

"Jefferson Farfan took a knock to his ankle and had pain this morning, so I decided not to take him," Stevens told reporters on Monday.

"Kyriakos Papadopoulos is not so badly injured, he will just rest for a few days. We do not want to risk him as we are playing a lot of games."

The game is scheduled for December 4, 2012 19:45 UTC in Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier.