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Good day to you all. Decided to come up with something new on this site which focus a little more on the opponent. I will try and compile whatever information that I can get my hands on. Credit goes where credit is due, of course. I did not create this information and it comes from various sites. Let’s see how this goes.

Henry celebrates his goal

European Record
Best Champions League season : Semifinalist in 2010/11 season. Lost to Manchester United 6-1 on aggregate.
Other : UEFA Cup winners 1997
Last season : Europa League quarter finalist
Record v English clubs : Home (3W1D2L) Away (0W1D4L)
Past meeting v Arsenal : 2001/02 season Shalke won 3-1 at home and lost 3-2 away

Shalke celebrates their win over Dortmund

League form
League : 3rd place after 8 games with 3W1L at home and 2W2D away.
Goals scored : 9 goals from 4 home games and 8 goals from 4 away games.
Goals conceded : 8 goals from 4 home games and 5 goals from 4 away games.
Match sequence (away in Italic) : DWWLWDWW

Domestic Cup Form
Won first round of DFB-Pokal away at FC Saarbrucken 5-0

CL Form
Matchday 1 : Beat Olympiakos away 2-1
Matchday 2 : Drew Montpellier home 2-2

Formation & Team News
Shalke’s Huub Stevens uses a formation that is similar to us. With Kyriakos Papadopoulos not available, Benedikt Howedes and Joel Matip will be asked to hold the fort. While Roman Neustadter is expected to patrol in front of them with Lewis Holtby alternating the playmaking role with Ibrahim Afellay. Shalke’s top scorer from last season in Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar will be a threat.

Source : UEFA, TribalFootball, ESPN FC

Coming back to Arsenal, Laurent Koscielny will be the only new addition to the squad that played Norwich. While we get the central defender back, we’ve lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain due to a knock to his hip on Saturday. With Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong playing the full 90 minutes yesterday in the U21 game against Everton, they will not be included in tomorrow’s game. When you take all that in mind, it will be hard to see any changes to the team for the arrival of the German club.

Mannone
Jenkinson—Mertesacker—Vermaelen—Santos
Ramsey—Arteta—Cazorla
Gervinho—Giroud—Podolski

There’s no escaping it. Every single player would have felt (I sincerely hope this statement is correct) what Aaron Ramsey felt. All of them would want to take this opportunity so fast after the last disappointment, to set things right. We deserve a much improved performance than the one we saw at Carrow Road. The opponent might be different, the playing style might not be similar but only one outcome is seek. That is to get the win and to add another 3 points to our tally.

Points that if taken, would take us up to 9 points in this season’s Champions League group stage. I would say that is enough to put us through to the next stage of the competition, just that it doesn’t guarantee top spot in the group. Of course, we do need other results to come our way for that to happen. After this match, the next game is the corresponding fixture away at Gelsenkirchen, the home of Shalke 04.

What makes this preview easier to do, is that there is no need for individual analysis based on the last game. Who needs to improve and what changes we can do to be better. We had such a collective failure the last time out, that this time, everyone have to improve and play better. We must be ready to challenge. There can’t be any lackadaisical attitude of expecting a victory without putting up a fight. We have to put in the tackles and play for the right to play, if that makes any sense.

On a European stage, despite our result last weekend, I’d still fancy us to collect all 3 points against Shalke. The same like I did prior to the start of the Norwich game. Let’s hope they don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Up The Arsenal.

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