Schalke will look to complete an absolute perfect week when Nürnberg visit the Veltins Arena on Saturday. They defeated Borussia Dortmund last weekend in the first Revierderby of the season at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for their first win in the derby in two seasons. Then, they traveled to London midweek to hand Arsenal their first home loss to a continental European team in the Champions League since 2003. Their opponents this weekend won't be as difficult as those two sides.
Nürnberg picked up their first points since Matchday 3 last week in a scoreless draw against Augsburg. After starting the season well and playing some attractive football, Nürnberg now find themselves just two points out of the relegation zone. Manager Dieter Hecking needs to figure out what to do to get this team back on track soon. They have the talent to be playing better than they are, and midfielders Hiroshi Kiyotake and Alexander Esswein are very exciting to watch.
Unfortunately for Nürnberg, Schalke are on playing some really good football right now. Oh yeah, that Klaas Jan Huntelaar guy is finally finding the form that he dominated the Bundesliga with last season. Nürnberg have conceded 9 goals in their last 4 matches and with backup goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky between the posts for his first start of the season, it'll be interesting to see if they can keep the Dutch striker from scoring more than one goal. Rakovsky will be playing against his old club. He spent several years of his youth wearing a Schalke shirt.
Schalke injuries and suspensions
Out: Teemu Pukki (flu). In doubt: Kyriakos Papadopoulos (chicken pox), Sergio Escudero (groin), Chinedu Obasi (thigh).
With Pukki being the only serious injury concern for Schalke this week, they're going to be thrilled. Papadopoulos, Escudero, and Obasi all returned to training this week, but Huub Stevens isn't sure yet if they will be ready in time for the game. Julian Draxler, recovering from a broken arm, is expected to play, but it's not known at this time if it will be from the start or as a substitute.
Nürnberg injuries and suspensions
Out: Raphael Schäfer (achilles), Adam Hlousek (ACL).
Nürnberg's only true injury concern is goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer. He injured his achilles in the match against Augsburg, but it's not known exactly how long he'll be out of action. The only thing certain is that the goalkeeper will be out of action this week.
Match Date/Time: 3:30 p.m. local, 9:30 a.m. ET
Venue: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
TV: Gol TV (U.S. & Canada)