Collated by OPTA and WERDER.DE
We’re off to Gelsenkirchen! This Saturday, Kohfeldt and Co. are heading west to face Schalke at the VELTINS-Arena – kick-off at 15:30 CET. The Royal Blues, currently third in the table, will enter the game as favourites, coming up against a Green-White team, however, desperate to reward themselves for some top performances of late with three points on the road.
Previous encounters: The reverse fixture back in September was not Werder’s day at all: Lamine Sané scored the opener at the Weser, raising hope of that first win of the season, but that hope began to fade away in the 26th minute when an unfortunate own goal brought the visitors level. With full time approaching, Leon Goretzka delivered the final (lucky) blow. Memories of the home fixture against Schalke last season are much fonder, when Werder won 3-0 in a true Green-White spectacle. Theodor Gebre Selassie opened the scoring in the first half, before Max Kruse and Maximilian Eggestein added goals two and three in the closing stages, keeping the three points in Bremen.
The head coach on the game: "In Schalke, we are coming up against a team with real individual brilliance – especially going forward," said Werder’s head coach Florian Kohfeldt in his pre-match comments on the opposition. Aside from an abundance of dangerous forwards, Kohfeldt is wary of Schalke’s pace, in players like Amine Harit, or Leon Goretzka. Despite all the quality they possess, Werder have no intention of hiding in the VELTINS-Arena: "We’re going there to win. There’s a good atmosphere within the team and we have a game plan to beat them on Saturday," declared the boss, before adding: "We haven’t got what we deserved out of the last games and we want to change that."
Model students: Saturday’s clash will see two football professors shake hands and go head to head. Florian Kohfeldt graduated 2015 from the elite coaching course as top student. One year later, Domenico Tedesco became his successor.
7 times 4: No fewer than seven players are in danger of a yellow card suspension going into Saturday’s game. Philipp Bargfrede, Robert Bauer and Florian Kainz for Werder; Naldo, Daniel Caliguiri, Max Meyer and Matija Nastasic for Schalke.
NaNaNaNaldo: 254 games for the Green-Whites, 2009 DFB Pokal winner with Werder, now not only the Bundesliga’s record Brazilian appearance maker, but also an integral part of Schalke’s team. Naldo is in the form of his life once again – the numbers speak for themselves: the centre back leads the duels-won statistic with 66.7 percent and his four headed goals are also a league best. "Obviously we are well aware of Naldo’s form – we’ll have to come up with something good in order to defend against him at set pieces," said Kohfeldt: "We will have to get three player marking him," he joked.