FC Schalke 04
19:05 GMT 13 April 2017
Schalke make the trip from Germany to the Netherlands as they hope to book their place in the UEFA Europa League semi-final. The game at the Amsterdam Arena will be the first of a two-legged quarter-final tie and will be pivotal in deciding which of the two sides will get into the hat for the next round. The two sides will return to the Veltins-arena next Thursday for the second-leg, where we will find out which team will see themselves through.
The two sides haven’t met in European competition so this game will be the first between the two. With two very defensively-focused sides, there shouldn’t be many goals in this first-leg, leaving the tie wide open in the second-leg.
The Dutch side will be desperate to get a good first-leg result under their belts to take into the second-leg at the Veltins-arena. With only one absence for the hosts, they have a great chance of doing just that. Lasse Schone misses out through a yellow-card suspension but there’s a big boost for Ajax heading into the game. Their top scorer, Dolberg, comes back into the team after suffering a groin injury.
Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: Ajax Amsterdam
|16.03.2017||UEFA||Ajax Amsterdam||FC Copenhagen||2:0||W|
|09.03.2017||UEFA||FC Copenhagen||Ajax Amsterdam||2:1||L|
|23.02.2017||UEFA||Ajax Amsterdam||Legia Warsaw||1:0||W|
|16.02.2017||UEFA||Legia Warsaw||Ajax Amsterdam||0:0||D|
An away goal in Amsterdam will be vital for Schalke’s hopes of progression but with several absences, it won’t be plain sailing. Breel Embolo and Naldo will see out the rest of the season on the sidelines while Benjamin Stambouli and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting are both missing the game through injuries. However, Sead Kolasinac will make his return for the match and will be a big boost for his side’s chances of victory.
Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: FC Schalke 04
|16.03.2017||UEFA||Monchengladbach||FC Schalke 04||2:2||D|
|09.03.2017||UEFA||FC Schalke 04||Monchengladbach||1:1||D|
|22.02.2017||UEFA||FC Schalke 04||PAOK FC||1:1||D|
|16.02.2017||UEFA||PAOK FC||FC Schalke 04||0:3||W|
With home advantage, it’s Ajax who go into the match as favourites but Schalke won’t provide easy opposition. The German side have been good on the road in Europe this season and will look to carry on that trend against Ajax. Both sides will be desperate not to concede so the game will probably be quite a cagey, low-scoring affair but should still be a good game for the neutral.
13 April 2017 - 19:05 GMT
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