Coventry v Colchester preview
Schalke have dismissed fears they could suffer a hangover from
their derby success against Borussia Dortmund when they take on
Galatasaray for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on
The Royal Blues go into the second leg with the advantage after
a 1-1 draw in Turkey, but on the back of a physically and
emotionally draining 2-1 win over Dortmund in which they also lost
striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to a knee injury.
The Holland frontman is out of the return leg but coach Jens
Keller claimed his side would be ready for the match.
He said: “The lads are physically very fit. I think they have
shown that impressively in recent weeks. And so if anyone should
feel tired, this feeling will evaporate at the latest when they
walk into the stadium and hear the Champions League anthem.
“We will of course take the positive feeling of the derby win
into this game. The euphoria and the way we played our football
against Borussia Dortmund and were supported by the fans was very
special and can definitely help us against Galatasaray.”
Finland international Teemu Pukki is an option to lead the line
in place of Huntelaar, who is facing several weeks on the
Jermaine Jones, who scored in the 1-1 draw in Turkey, is
suspended, so Marco Hoger is likely to continue in midfield, with
Atsuto Uchida at right-back.
Turkish Super Lig leaders Gala have had one more day to prepare
than their hosts, but suffered an embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to
Genclerbirligi in their last outing last Friday.
Gala boss Fatih Terim branded the defeat “unworthy of our club”
and demanded an immediate improvement.
“In the league you can make up for lost points, but in
continental competition weak performances are punished,” he was
quoted as saying by kicker.de. “On Tuesday we have to improve our
Didier Drogba is expected to return to the starting line-up
after he missed a penalty as a second-half substitute against
Felipe Melo should also start after being suspended against
Genclerbirligi, Wesley Sneijder should be involved and Emmanuel
Eboue is also pushing for a start, but Tomas Ujfalusi is out due to
Leon Clarke is a major doubt for the Sky Blues’ midweek home
The striker bagged his 21st goal of the season to seal
Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Scunthorpe, for whom he registered 11 of
those having spent the first half of the campaign on loan with the
Iron prior to his January switch to Coventry.
Clarke subsequently left Glanford Park wearing a protective boot
over his foot having taken a knock during the game and he will now
be assessed ahead of the match against the U’s.
Saturday’s success came in boss Steven Pressley’s first match at
the helm following his appointment 24 hours earlier and he can now
look forward to his first outing at the Ricoh Arena.
City have struggled for home form this season, winning just five
times compared to a club-record 11 on their travels, and Pressley
must reverse that trend if he is to have any chance of closing the
five-point gap on the play-off places.
Defenders Richard Wood (groin) and Blair Adams (knee) as well as
striker Stephen Elliott (knee) remain sidelined.
The visitors will be monitoring at least three players ahead of
Defender Tom Eastman picked up a knock early on in Saturday’s
2-1 home defeat to Crewe and was subsequently forced off in the
Meanwhile, left-back Bradley Garmston and striker Freddie Sears
(both knee) missed the game altogether and all three will be
assessed to determine whether they have any chance of being
One player definitely unavailable to boss Joe Dunne is striker
Jabo Ibehre as he serves the second game of his three-match
New boy Michael Smith, who arrived on loan from Charlton on
Friday, will be pushing for his full debut having impressed
following his introduction from the bench in place of David Wright
after just 34 minutes at the weekend due to tactical reasons.
Fellow loan signing Troy Hewitt is also striving to start having
made his debut for the U’s in the latter stages.