Leverkusen - With the firepower on show at the BayArena this weekend, goals can certainly be expected as Bayer 04 Leverkusen host second-place FC Schalke 04 (kick-off 18:30 CET).
Nobody in the Bundesliga has found the back of the net more frequently than Stefan Kießling (20 goals) in 2012, but Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the league’s top goalscorer from last season, is his nearest challenger with 17.
With such a combination, it can only mean one thing: both defences are going to have to be on song this Saturday. "They have top class individuals and can shift from defence to attack incredibly quickly, so each and every one of us is going to have to be on our guard," said Schalke coach Huub Stevens, implying that defending must start with his attackers.
Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypiä believes there are no excuses for his side, especially given that many of his squad were rested during the international break. “We've had enough time to recharge our batteries and we also hope that a few injured players can come back too," said the former Werkself defender, who may be able to welcome Bernd Leno back into his team after an elbow injury.
Setting the record straight
Schalke coach Huub Stevens faces a juggling act as he looks to maintain his side's freshness ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League tie against Olympiacos. "We’re going to have to take a look in training to see the fitness levels of the lads," said the Dutch veteran.
Huntelaar should be one of the freshest in the pack after spending the entire 90 minutes of Holland’s friendly against Germany on Wednesday on the bench. That game did provide one nervy moment, when Ibrahim Afellay left the field after an hour. "I think it was just a precaution," said Stevens. "The Dutch team doctor treated him after the game and if it had been serious, he would have informed us."
Leverkusen: Leno - Carvajal, Wollscheid, Toprak, Boenisch - Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes - Castro, Schürrle - Kießling
Schalke: Unnerstall - Höwedes, Papadopoulos, Matip, Fuchs - Neustädter, Jones - Farfan, Holtby, Draxler - Huntelaar