Howedes braced for long night

BY foxsports • April 12, 2011

With a three-goal cushion and five away goals in the bag, it would take an amazing effort from Inter to deny Schalke their place in the semi-finals, where they would meet either Manchester United or Chelsea. But Howedes is not taking anything for granted.

"We have got to be warned," he said on his club's website. "Inter will certainly try everything to turn the result around and they will throw everything forward. "It is no secret that they have fantastic strikers and an amazing attacking quality.

"We are going to have to be equally strong at the back as we were in our last games and constantly be on alert."

Nevertheless, the 1-0 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend which took the Royal Blues to within six points of the top five in the Bundesliga means Schalke can go into the game full of confidence.

"The win over Wolfsburg has given us even more self-confidence," added Howedes. "We will take that into the game against Inter Milan."

However, Schalke will be without the suspended Jefferson Farfan, who was inspirational at the San Siro a week ago. Seventeen-year-old midfield prospect Julian Draxler could take his place in the starting XI having made his debut in the competition as a substitute against Valencia in the last round.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti is refusing to write off his team's chances of coming back from their seemingly doomed position.

"The issue is to remain focused and try to do something that already seems impossible," Moratti said. "But this impossibility is precisely what makes this contest a fascinating one."

Inter showed plenty of character in the previous round when they beat Bayern Munich 3-2 at the Allianz Arena after losing their opener 1-0 in Milan.

"I see the players extremely motivated," Moratti said. "We know it's very difficult but in football anything can happen."

To make their task even more difficult, Schalke have won their four games in Gelsenkirchen in the competition this season. However, Inter veteran Marco Materazzi says the mood in the Nerazzurri camp is a defiant one.

"We believe that it's possible, just as our fans do," he said. "In Gelsenkirchen it will not be easy but nothing of what we have constructed in the past six years has been easy."

Inter go into the encounter on the back of a 2-0 triumph over Chievo that kept them third in Serie A, five points adrift of league leaders AC Milan with six games remaining.

Argentina defender Walter Samuel has been included in the visitors' squad after a five-month injury lay-off but is unlikely to feature, while the hosts welcome back defender Lucio from suspension.

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