Schalke - Arsenal Preview: Gunners look for crucial Champions League victory
The north London club sit in second place in Group B with six points from their three games but with Olympiakos breathing down their neck as they head to Germany
By Chris Teale
Howedes, Papadopoulos, Fuchs, Matip
Jones, Holtby, Barnetta
Farfan, Huntelaar, Afellay
Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Santos
Arteta, Coquelin, Cazorla
Walcott, Giroud, Podolski
Schalke have no new injury or suspension worries, so can expect to name a full-strength side for this game.
The highly-rated Lewis Holtby should continue in the midfield for the hosts, with support coming from Jermaine Jones and Tranquillo Barnetta.
Up front, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar should lead the line, supported by Jefferson Farfan and Barcelona loanee Ibrahim Afellay.
Meanwhile, the Gunners will be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey (groin) after he was subbed in their defeat to Manchester United.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains a doubt (hip), but may recover in time to make the bench and be fully fit for their next Premier League match at home to Fulham.
Kieran Gibbs is also nearing full fitness, but this game will come slightly too soon for the left-back as he recovers from a thigh injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Schalke sit second in the Bundesliga but are seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich after losses to Jupp Heynckes' side and Hoffenheim this season.
- The Royal Blues won the Uefa Intertoto Cup in two consecutive seasons, one of only three teams to do so, in both 2003 and 2004.
- Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand holds the Bundesliga record for not conceding a goal, going 884 consecutive minutes without being beaten during the 2003-04 season.
- These teams have faced each other in the group stage already, with Schalke taking a 2-0 victory at the Emirates thanks to goals from Huntelaar and Afellay.
- Arsenal's 7-0 win over Slavia Prague in October 2010 is the joint second-highest margin of victory in the history of the Champions League.
- Two Gunners managers have died while in the job – Herbert Chapman and Tom Whittaker.
- Marouane Chamakh's (pictured) goals against Reading in the Capital One Cup were his first for Arsenal since scoring against Blackburn in September 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Schalke 04 1-2 Arsenal
- 17.11 %
Schalke 04 2-1 Arsenal
- 12.72 %
Schalke 04 1-3 Arsenal
- 11.7 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 6, 2012||Schalke 04 2 - Arsenal 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 24, 2012||Arsenal 0 - Schalke 04 2|
|Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - Schalke 04 1||GER1|
|Dec 3, 2013||Schalke 04 1 - Hoffenheim 3||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Schalke 04 3 - VfB Stuttgart 0||GER1|
|Nov 26, 2013||Steaua Bucureşti 0 - Schalke 04 0||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Eintracht Frankfurt 3 - Schalke 04 3||GER1|
|17||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|
Known for his extreme pace and creativity, the midfielder will be key for the home side if they are going to dominate in the middle of the park. The Swiss star can play on the left or in a more withdrawn defensive role and has had a noticeable impact since joining in the summer.
Walcott has been in good form recently, including a hat-trick against Reading in the Capital One Cup. If he can continue to find the goals from either a central or wider role, Arsenal will be hopeful of success.
It promises to be a tough tie for the Gunners as they travel to Germany to face the side who have already tasted victory at the Emirates Stadium. The Germans will be confident with home advantage, and should have just enough to see off the threat of the Premier League side.