Montpellier vs. Schalke 04  1 - 1

Article

Metzelder relishing Real Madrid prospect

5 December 2012 03:51

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder was thrilled after his side qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as winners of Group B.

The Bundesliga outfit came away from their trip to Montpellier with a 1-1 draw on Tuesday that left them top of the standings.

Benedikt Howedes headed Schalke in front after 56 minutes, and although Emanuel Herrera equalised for Montpellier three minutes later, a point was enough as Arsenal failed to beat Olympiacos in Greece.

"Of course we are happy to have finished the group ahead of Arsenal, as they are one of the big teams in the Champions League," Metzelder said.

The 32-year-old also spoke about the possibility of facing former employers Real Madrid in the first round of the knockout stages.

"Real Madrid would be fantastic opponents in the next stage," he added.

Article

Stevens wants first place for Schalke

4 December 2012 12:44

Huub Stevens says Schalke are aiming to beat Montpellier and finish top of Champions League Group B, ahead of Arsenal.

Bundesliga side Schalke lead Group B with 11 points from five games played, and a win away to Ligue 1 champions Montpellier on matchday six will confirm top spot.

Both Schalke and Arsenal are guaranteed progression to the last 16, while third-placed Olympiakos have secured passage to the Europa League.

"My priority is to keep the lead in this group. In the knock-out round there are no weak teams, but by finishing first we might avoid some of the bigger ones," Schalke coach Stevens said.

"We are here to win the game and the group. Things would be a bit different if we had to win to qualify, so I think that we will be a little bit more relaxed but still focused.

"Montpellier play good football. French football is usually quite skilful. Montpellier have less experience than the other teams in this group, but they showed in our first meeting that they are a quality team."

Arsenal travel to Olympiakos in the other Group B match on Tuesday.

Article

Kuranyi tips deep Schalke run

4 December 2012 10:35

Former Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi is confident that Huub Stevens' side can reach the Champions League semi-finals this term.

The Bundesliga club sealed qualification from the group stage on matchday five with a 1-0 win over Olympiakos.

And the 30-year-old Kuranyi believes a repeat of the club's run in 2010/11, when they reached the Champions League's final four, is not out of reach.

"They have got through the group stage very well. And anything is possible in the knock-out stage," Kuranyi told Goal.com.

"I think they can follow the same path as they did in 2011. I think that the team is set up really well. They have a great mixture of experience and young players.

"They also have Huub Stevens, a very good trainer. So, Schalke are a strong team."

The current edition of the Champions League has seen three German teams qualify for the knockout stages, which Kuranyi believes is a sign of the growth of the Bundesliga.

"You see the Bundesliga compared to the top teams in Europe more and more. Its teams have developed well in Europe," he said.

"In the Bundesliga, there's a lot of competition, which has had an affect on how the clubs do in Europe. It's not just in the Champions League - German football is well represented in the Europa League, too."

Kuranyi left the Veltins Arena in 2010 for Dinamo Moscow, but is not thinking about a return to the Bundesliga.

"I am fully focussed on Dinamo Moscow and trying to achieve our goals with the team. But in football you never know. I haven't been thinking about another club," he said.

Schalke's final Group B game sees them face Montpellier in France on Tuesday.

Article

Howedes: Schalke desperate for maximum points

4 December 2012 03:08

Benedikt Howedes is desperate for Schalke to beat Montpellier on Tuesday and be first in the standings in Champions League Group B.

The Bundesliga side go into the fixture just one point above second-placed Arsenal, knowing they will need to match the Premier League club's result against Olympiacos to win the group.

The Germany international hopes to clinch top spot which he believes would ultimately reduce their chances of facing the hardest teams in the last 16.

"We desperately want to win the game so that we win the group," he told reporters ahead of the clash at Stade de la Mosson.

"If we win then we are separated from the toughest opponents in the next round. It is a good feeling already to be through and that enables us to play without any pressure."

Since the club have already progressed through to the next round, this has helped Huub Stevens make his squad selection for the encounter.

"Jefferson Farfan took a knock to his ankle and had pain this morning, so I decided not to take him," Stevens said on Monday.

"Kyriakos Papadopoulos is not so badly injured, he will just rest for a few days. We do not want to risk him as we are playing a lot of games."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group B preview: Schalke face French test

3 December 2012 08:17

Schalke and Arsenal will be vying for top spot in Group B when matchday six gets underway on Tuesday.

Both clubs have already qualified for the knockout phase with a game to spare in the UEFA Champions League but there is still plenty to play for.

Topping the group would mean avoiding a potential round-of-16 clash against the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.

Schalke travels to France on Tuesday to battle with French champions Montpellier, who are set to bow out of the competition without a whimper.

Montpellier shocked the football world when they lifted the Ligue 1 title last season but have looked out of their depth in the Champions League this year, claiming just one point from their trip to Schalke.

Huub Stevens' Schalke are guaranteed to win the group if they emerge victorious at the Stade de la Mosson but failure to win could hand Arsenal top spot if the English outfit beat Olympiakos.

Schalke have gone off the boil in the Bundesliga recently, failing to win their past four games but their Champions League form paints a different picture.

The German club have lost just once in their past eight European away trips - their only defeat in that period coming against Premier League powerhouse Manchester United last season.

And Dutch international striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has led the way with four goals this competition.

Arsenal, on the other hand, jets out to Greece on Tuesday knowing victory against Olympiakos may not be enough to leapfrog Schalke.

The 2005/06 runners-up, who have already qualified from the group stage for the 13th successive year, need to win in Greece and hope Schalke slip up at Montpellier with either a draw or loss.

However, based on Arsenal's current form, victory against Olympiakos is no sure thing.

Arsenal Wenger's men have only won one of its past six Premier League fixtures, a run that has seen them slip down to 10th in the standings, 15 points behind pacesetters United.

And Arsenal's most recent trip to the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium resulted in a 3-1 defeat.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
8 4 -1 7
9 4 +3 6
10 4 +2 6
11 4 +1 6
12 4 +0 6

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
11 2 +0 2
12 2 -1 1
13 2 -1 1
14 2 -1 1
15 2 -2 1