Andre Breitenreiter wants Schalke to be positive against Bayern Munich on Saturday as they bid to become the first Bundesliga visitors to win at the Allianz Arena in 2016.
Fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern – who sit seven points clear at the summit – can close in on the German title with a fifth straight league win.
However, Schalke are also in need of positive result. They go into the game in seventh position in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Breitenreiter hopes his side can build on their 2-2 draw with rivals Borussia Dortmund last Sunday, particularly as they have had a clear week to prepare for the game in Munich.
“We are absolutely the underdogs,” Schalke’s head coach told the club’s official website.
“Nevertheless, we are heading to Munich in good spirits and want to get a positive result. If we go into the game with the attitude of just wanting to hide, then we have no chance.
“We will give our all and try to leave Munich with some points.”
If the visitors want to pick up anything on their travels, they must improve on a miserable recent defensive record that has seen them fail to keep a clean sheet in their last six outings.
“Lately we have made too many mistakes that have led to us conceding goals,” Breitenreiter added.
“And Bayern are a side who punish that without mercy, just like our neighbours [Dortmund] for example. They are on top in almost every statistic for the Bundesliga.”
Bayern hardly need any help when it comes to scoring goals – having found the net 69 times in 29 league games this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side drew 2-2 with Benfica on Wednesday. The result – coming after a 1-0 triumph in the first leg on home soil – secured them a place in the last four of Europe’s premier club competition.
Robert Lewandowski – who was involved in a car accident last weekend – could be recalled to the home side’s starting XI. The Poland international came on as an 84th-minute substitute in Portugal.
As for Schalke, Sead Kolasinac is ruled out through suspension. They are also without the injured trio of Leon Goretzka, Marco Hoger and Matija Nastasic.
Key Opta stats:
– Bayern are unbeaten in 10 Bundesliga games against Schalke (W8, D2).
– Schalke have taken just four points from their last four top-flight games. They haven’tkept a clean sheet in any of their last six Bundesliga matches.
– Bayern have won all but one of their 20 games at the Allianz Arena in all competitions so far this season.
– Johannes Geis is on the brink of his 100th Bundesliga appearance. He has eight goals and 14 assists to his name in the top flight.
– Manuel Neuer could notch up his 200th top-flight victory this weekend in what would be appearance number 313 – only Bastian Schweinsteiger has reached the milestone quicker (311 matches).