Nurnberg - Schalke Preview: Huub Stevens' men aiming to cement grip on third place against the struggling Bavarians

The Gelsenkirchen side can make automatic qualification for the Champions League a near-certainty against Dieter Hecking's side, who are without a win in their last five matches



Chandler, Wollscheid, Maroh, Pinola
Balitsch, Simons
Hegeler, Didavi, Mak


Howedes, Papadopoulos, Matip, Fuchs
Jones, Holtby
Farfan, Raul, Draxler

Dieter Hecking is set to make a number of changes from the side that threw away a two-goal lead against Freiburg on Saturday.

Markus Feulner picked up his 10th booking of the season at Mage Solar Stadion, and will be unavailable due to the resulting suspension, and Timothy Chandler should drop back to slot in at right-back, with Jens Hegeler, who is fit again, replacing the American on the right wing.

Philipp Wollscheid is back from a suspension of his own, and will replace Per Nilsson at centre-back, who failed to shroud himself in glory against Freiburg. Adam Hlousek and Christian Eigler remain sidelined.

Having missed Sunday's 3-0 win over Hannover through suspension, Jermaine Jones and Joel Matip should return to the starting line-up for the trip to Nurnberg, replacing Marco Hoger and Christoph Metzelder respectively.

Meanwhile, club captain Benedikt Howedes made his return from a hamstring injury during the final five minutes of the weekend's clash, and could start ahead at right-back ahead of Atsuto Uchida.

Lewis Holtby should replace Christoph Moritz, but goalkeeping duo Timo Hildebrand and Ralf Fahrmann remain sidelined. Christian Fuchs should return having missed the weekend's action after suffering from flu.

  • In 2007-08, Nurnberg's relegation to the 2. Bundesliga was sealed when they lost 2-0 at home to Schalke.
  • The Bavarians' 2-2 draw with Freiburg on Sunday halted a four-match losing streak - their longest such run this season.
  • Only Kaiserslautern have mustered fewer Bundesliga goals than Nurnberg's 27 this season.
  • Schalke have scored at least three goals in four of their last six Bundesliga games.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (pictured, right) became the first Dutchman to score 24 goals in a Bundesliga season when he scored against Hannover on Sunday.
  • Raul's last three Bundesliga goals have been assisted by Jefferson Farfan.