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The skipper returns to action for the Gelsenkirchen side just in time to ease Huub Stevens' defensive woes as Matip and Jones both miss out through suspension



Uchida, Howedes, Papadopoulos, Fuchs
Hoger, Holtby
Farfan, Raul, Draxler

Cherundolo, Eggimann, Pogatetz, Pander
Sclaudraff, Pinto, Schmiedebach, Rausch
Ya Konan, Diouf

The big news for Schalke is that captain Benedikt Howedes looks set to return to action after a hamstring layoff. And with centre-back regular Joel Matip out through suspension, the skipper looks good to slot into central defence in the 20-year-old's absence.

Jermaine Jones also misses out through picking up too many yellows – another major defensive loss for the hosts – meaning Huub Stevens will look to Marco Hoger or Christoph Moritz to partner Lewis Holtby in defensive midfield. Hoger is the more likely choice to start.

Long-term absentee Ralf Fahrmann remains sidelined with a cruciate ligament tear, while fellow custodian Timo Hildebrand is currently suffering from an elbow injury.

In the opposing dugout, Mirko Slomka's only selection problem is the absence of Lars Stindl, who is struggling with a groin problem. It's likely that Jan Schlaudraff will continue to deputise on the right side of midfield.

  • In their last three Bundesliga matches played at home - all of which resulted in victory for the hosts - Schalke have scored nine goals and conceded only one.
  • Hannover have lost all three of their most recent domestic league matches away from home, conceding eight times and scoring only twice.
  • Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is currently tied with Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez for most goals scored in the German top flight this season with 23.
  • Of the players likely to feature in this clash on Sunday, Spanish icon Raul is next on the list of top scorers with 12, followed by Hannover striker Mohammed Abdellaoue, who has 11.
  • Statistically speaking, Kyriakos Papadopoulos will be the most indisciplined player on the pitch at the Veltins-Arena, with the Greek centre-back having amassed a haul of eight yellow cards and one red so far this season.