Arsenal back to Champions League after recent loss

Saturday's lacklustre 1-0 loss to Norwich dropped Arsenal to ninth in the English standings, with even manager Arsene Wenger acknowledging the performance was a "shock to the system."

However, the team remains in a strong position after winning its first two group matches in the Champions League and a victory at the Emirates Stadium would put the Gunners on the brink of qualification.

"It is a good lesson, but I would have preferred not to get it," Wenger said of the Norwich match. "Because if you need lessons like that you will stand there at the end of the season and be full of regrets. I hope it will have a positive impact."

Montpellier hosts Olympiakos in the other Group B game, with both teams looking for their first wins to jump into contention for a top-two finish.

Schalke, which reached the Champions League semifinals in 2011, is second in the group with four points and comes into the match buoyed by a 2-1 win over rival Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

"I think it was the first big game we played in which we showed what we can do," Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar said.

Competitive game
The win ensured Schalke moved five points clear of the defending champions.

"We played a fantastic game and were able to put the opponent under pressure," Schalke defender Benedikt Hoewedes said. "We also tried to play football."

Schalke is the only Bundesliga team that has yet to lose a competitive game away from home this season, but the club has not won in England in five attempts.

"We shouldn't get carried away," Hoewedes said with an eye on Wednesday's game. "It won't be easy for us. In London we'll have to throw everything into the pot [but] with our fans behind us, I'm sure we can get a good result."

Highly rated 19-year-old attacking midfielder Julian Draxler is doubtful after breaking his left wrist in the 2-2 draw against Montpellier.

Greece defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos returned to training Sunday after two and a half weeks out with chicken pox, but there are still questions over the 20-year-old player's fitness for the match against Arsenal.

Both sides will have the same coaches in charge from their previous meetings in 2001-02 – when Arsenal secured a 3-2 win at Highbury before losing 3-1 in Germany – with Huub Stevens now in his second stint at Schalke and Arsene Wenger a fixture in north London.

"Our young team is still developing," Stevens said after Saturday's win in Dortmund. "But [the players] have shown what they are capable of."  – Sapa-AP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

More top stories

State rejects pyramid-schemer’s plea: ‘I stole the money, and plead...

The state has rejected fraudster Roderick Cole-Edwards’ guilty plea for R11.6-million pyramid-scheme theft

Hot topic: Is crypto’s climate cost higher than its value?

The recent blockchain boom has been followed by concerns over its impact on the environment

The plight of the ‘missing middle’ is no joke, Nzimande

Parents who, on paper, look like they can afford to pay their children’s university fees often can’t. They also miss out on funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

More ethnically diverse bone marrow donors needed to save lives

The myth that regenerative stem cells are body parts has led to donor reluctance

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…