The Royal Blues eased to victory in their Group G opener, but head coach Jens Keller expects a much sterner examination at the home of Swiss champions and Chelsea FC-slayers Basel.
"We have to learn our lessons"
"When you look at how they played against Chelsea, you have to say Basel are slight favourites," admitted the 42-year-old tactician. "They know how to mix things up and sometimes switch tactics during a game. Still, it goes without saying we don't want to come away empty-handed."
Schalke have lost only one of their last eleven away encounters in European competition, but closer to home they haven't fared quite so well of late, shipping seven goals in their last two Bundesliga outings alone. "We have to learn our lessons and play better next time," said sporting director Horst Heldt after witnessing his side throw away a 3-1 lead against 1899 Hoffenheim at the weekend.
"It's going to be difficult"
"It was pretty obvious how careless we were to throw away three points," said midfielder Marco Höger. "We shouldn't get hung up on it. We have to move on. The Bundesliga and Champions League are fundamentally two different things. We've started well in Europe. We showed last season we can compete with the best and play to a high level. We want to prove that against Basel."
"We have to be switched on in the first half and not just for the first 30-45 minutes, but for the whole game," Höger continued. "That way we'll be difficult to play against. You saw that early on against Hoffenheim. We know it's going to be difficult and that Basel are a really good side, but we want to take something from the game."
Draxler question mark
For their part, seasoned European campaigners Basel proved their worth with victory away to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea last time out, but like Schalke could only manage a draw at the weekend. Murat Yakin's men are, in any case, unbeaten in their last ten outings in all competitions.
With that in mind, not to mention injuries to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Christian Fuchs and Jermaine Jones, Keller is hoping to be able to call on the star qualities of Julian Draxler (knee) come kick-off at St. Jakob Park: "We'll see how it goes, but we're optimistic he'll be able to play. The signs are positive."
Basel: Sommer - Voser, Ajeti, Ivanov, Safari - Frei - Salah, Xhaka, Diaz, Stocker - Streller
Schalke: Hildebrand - Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Aogo - Neustädter, Höger - Farfan, Boateng, Draxler - Szalai