Schalke look for improvement against Wolfsburg

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 February 2005 , HAMBURG - Schalke 04 look for a turnaround on Saturday against free-falling VfL Wolfsburg in an effort to stay on the heels of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. Schalke garnered just one point in their last two (away) games to fall three points behind Munich, whose weekend match is on Sunday at promoted Arminia Bielefeld. "We will start chasing on Munich on Saturday," Schalke's Danish striker Ebbe Sand vowed in an interview with Kicker sports magazine published on Thursday. "We are three

10 February 2005

HAMBURG - Schalke 04 look for a turnaround on Saturday against free-falling VfL Wolfsburg in an effort to stay on the heels of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

Schalke garnered just one point in their last two (away) games to fall three points behind Munich, whose weekend match is on Sunday at promoted Arminia Bielefeld.

"We will start chasing on Munich on Saturday," Schalke's Danish striker Ebbe Sand vowed in an interview with Kicker sports magazine published on Thursday.

"We are three points behind, that is not too much," said Sand, adding his hope that Schalke will close the gap until both teams meet in Gelsenkirchen on 12 March.

Sand named the Bundesliga title his dream after Munich stole the trophy from Schalke on the last play of the 2001 season, but he also admitted that Munich were in a better position because they were used to the title pressure and had more depth in their squad.
On the weekend, Schalke will badly miss defensive pillar Marcelo Bordon, still out with Achilles tendon problems. In addition, Germany forward Gerlad Asamoah suffered a thigh muscle injury in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Argentina.

But Wolfsburg are in even bigger trouble as the early season leaders have lost six of their last seven games - and all three this year - in a fall to ninth place.

Ex-captain Stefan Schnoor and influential forward Martin Petrov are suspended, but club manager Thomas Strunz refuses to see only the dark side.

"We are only four points behind a UEFA Cup berth and five off the Champions League. We will remain calm," Strunz said.

Munich, meanwhile, have all players on board in their trip to Bielefeld, where they have won eight of 12 top flight duels.

The leaders have not conceded a goal in three 2005 games as Oliver Kahn is in splendid form again and Robert Kovac formes a formidable central defence together with Lucio.

"The forwards win games, the defenders titles," said coach Felix Magath. "We were too offensive-minded in the first half of the season. But we have clearly improved now."

Third-placed VfB Stuttgart badly need to improve after two mediocre home games (in which they got only one point) when they travel to in-form seventh-placed SV Hamburg, who have won six of their last eight games.

"We must concentrate on football again and be professional," captain Zvonimir Soldo said.

Fourth-placed Hertha Berlin aim to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 games against Nuremberg, improving Borussia Dortmund host neighbours VfL Bochum, champions Werder Bremen run into in-form Borussia Moenchengladbach, SC Freiburg take on Hanover 96 and Kaiserslautern host bottom club Hansa Rostock in other Saturday games.

The second Sunday game brings together Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz 05, with Mainz under threat of losing their seventh straight game. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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