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Football

Bundesliga win puts Schalke in the mood

After doing the double over bitter local rivals, Schalke hope to make a great week even better against Galatasaray.
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 13:12
Schalke players celebrate their 2-1 victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday [EPA]

Schalke have already won the game most of their fans consider the highlight of the season, so a place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League would only be a bonus.

The German side take the away-goal advantage into their home leg against Galatasaray after a 1-1 draw in Istanbul, meaning a win or a 0-0 draw would seal their place in the last eight.

Schalke goes into Tuesday's match bolstered by a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, but weakened by the absence of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the striker who injured his left knee in the Ruhr derby Saturday and will miss several weeks.

Schalke's third straight Bundesliga victory was also their second this season over Dortmund, the detested neighbour, and it sent the fans into ecstasy.

"Winning the derby twice is balm for the soul," Schalke's sporting director Horst Heldt said.

"Winning the derby twice is balm for the soul"

Schalke's sporting director, Horst Heldt

Schalke held second place in the Bundesliga before sliding, firing Huub Stevens and giving relative novice Jens Keller the coaching job. 

Keller had a rocky start but the team has now stabilised. Schalke are unbeaten at home in the Champions League and has a 100-percent home record against Turkish opposition in European competitions.

"We are in a good position before the second leg, but this draw (in Istanbul) is only going to be worth something if we reach the quarterfinals," Keller said.

"But the guys proved that they were the better team."

Schalke will also miss tireless midfielder Jermaine Jones, who scored the equaliser in Istanbul but also got himself booked and is suspended for the second leg.

Galatasaray have two wins away from home this season in the Champions League and are trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001.

But the Turkish champions have won only one of the nine European ties in which they were held at home in the first leg, Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba - who turned 35 Monday - has good memories of Germany, where he scored the equaliser and converted the winning penalty for Chelsea in last season's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

365

Source:
AP
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