Tuesday’s Champions League Preview: Schalke Away, Werder Host Twente
The Bundesliga’s Champions League representatives had tough weekend fixtures, but will be looking to bounce back against their European counter-parts and fight for qualification to the round of sixteen.
Hapoel Tel v Aviv v Schalke 04
Schalke are still firmly rooted in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, but despite their woeful domestic form, they’ve made good progress in the Champions League. Home wins against Benfica and Hapoel Tel-Aviv put Schalke in good stead to qualify for the next round, but they’ll need to pick up points away from home if they have want to push themselves into the knockout round. Their first away test ended in a 1-0 loss, but away to Olympique Lyon is not an easy task for any side. Now, they’ll have to put their European credentials to the test away to Hapoel, who will fancy their chances against the Bundesliga stragglers in front of their own fans. Schalke need to win this, because away to Benfica will not be easy, and a home match against Lyon is not the game you want to be banking on winning! Despite all that, I see Schalke edging this 2-1.
Werder Bremen v Twente Enschede
If ever there was a must win for Werder Bremen, this is it. The Bundesliga side are tied on points with their opponents, and a win would take them clear of the Dutch side and into second place. But, Bremen have to go to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham in their last group fixture, and a loss there would mean Europa League football. If Bremen get the win here, and Inter take three points in England, then the Tottenham – Werder Bremen tie becomes massive. Werder Bremen are coming off a 2-3 home loss to Nurnberg, and a reverse in fortunes against Twente will be most pleasing for the Werder Bremen board and the club’s home support. Werder Bremen have it all to do, but they’ve come from behind before. 3-1 to Werder Bremen.