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Schalke looking to take advantage of Leverkusen heartbreak

Matip-Kiessling

Schalke host Bayer Leverkusen in a crucial Bundesliga meeting, hoping to capitalise on their visitors' UEFA Champions League heartbreak.

Bayer Leverkusen travel to Schalke on Saturday hoping to banish the painful memories of their UEFA Champions League elimination in midweek.

In their last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid, Roger Schmidt's men bowed out in the most agonising fashion, losing 3-2 on penalties after a 1-0 defeat had levelled the tie on aggregate.

Hakan Calhanoglu and Omer Toprak both missed from the spot before Stefan Kiessling skied the last kick prior to sudden death to see Atletico through to the quarter-finals.

Leverkusen must now regroup, as they bid to return to European football's premier club competition via their league position.

Schmidt's men occupy the fourth and final qualification spot, one place and three points better off than their opponents on Saturday.

"Now we must try to sort out our heads in the next two days and regenerate," the Leverkusen coach said. "This is obviously a difficult task at the weekend, when you played here 120 minutes, and then play at Schalke. 

"But we become aware of the questions and give everything."

Schalke defender Joel Matip told: "All the teams above us won their games at the weekend and therefore took more points than us.

"Ultimately you do lots of maths, but for us the most important thing is to focus on ourselves and collect points. On Saturday we host a direct competitor, Bayer Leverkusen, so we are desperate to win and strengthen our situation."

Leverkusen are in strong form domestically, having won three matches on the spin, while Schalke have been inconsistent of late, with just one win in five in the league.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Arsenal vs Chelsea | Fiorentina vs Barcelona | IFK Norrkoping vs AIK | Palmeiras vs Atletico PR

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