Schalke v Montpellier preview

Schalke are hoping steal a march on the other teams in Champions League Group B with a victory over Montpellier at the Arena AufSchalke.

Last Updated: 02/10/12 at 19:22

Howedes: Scored in Greece

Howedes: Scored in Greece

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

The Royal Blues started their European campaign with a 2-1 win over Olympiacos a fortnight ago, and another victory on Wednesday night would set them up nicely for the two matches against Arsenal - who Schalke coach Huub Stevens believes are likely to top Group B, leaving the remaining three sides battling to finish runners-up.

"I see Arsenal as the favourites for our group," he said. "Montpellier, Olympiacos and we will be fighting for second place."

Schalke go into Wednesday's match on the back of some indifferent domestic form.

Defeat to Bayern Munich was followed by an unconvincing victory over Mainz, at least in terms of the performance and not the 3-0 scoreline, while Friday's 2-2 draw at Fortuna Dusseldorf earned the team plenty of criticism, not only from their own fans.

Schalke were leading 2-0 in that match but were pegged back in the second half.

However, Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes insists his side are now looking forward rather than back.

"For us, the Dusseldorf match is in the past," he said.

"We are really looking forward to this match against Montpellier. We worked hard in the league last year to qualify for this.

"We showed that we can say a thing or two in Europe when we faced Olympiacos. We played a great game there and deserved to win, and wins like that give you a lift."

Self-confidence alone is not going to be enough to win on Wednesday night, though, and their coach has warned against getting complacent against a side currently struggling in the French league after creating a major upset by winning the title in May.

"It is no coincidence that they are French champions," Stevens said at the pre-match press conference.

"Montpellier have some good players, such as Souleymane Camara, Younes Belhanda and Anthony Mournier.

"They may not be so well known in Germany, but that does not mean anything."

Stevens is likely to be without Jefferson Farfan, who sat out the draw against Fortuna and has not fully recovered from a pulled muscle, while Jermaine Jones is also a doubt after taking a knock to the ankle in training yesterday.

"We will have to see who can play after our final training session. All I can say is that there will be 11 players and one will be wearing gloves," added the coach.

The gloves will be on for Montpellier as they plan to come out fighting in Gelsenkirchen, buoyed by a much-needed win in Ligue 1 against Nancy at the weekend.

"This is good for the lads," said coach Rene Girard after Saturday's victory. "It gives us a bit of breathing space.

"It is good for morale because we have a difficult game against Schalke. We know that it is not going to be easy, but it is a different competition and I am not concerned - we will rise to the occasion."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Champions League Fixtures

There are no fixtures at present.

Footer 365

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Transfer news: Liverpool appear to be close to completing a deal for Loic Remy

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Loic Remy with the French forward reportedly having his medical in Boston.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward says Manchester United are still global giant

Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward insists the club are still the biggest in the world.

Mail Box

Anyone But Rooney. Or Baines. Or Hart.

There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...

Goodbye Patrice And Farewell Steven...

Man United fans say a fond farewell to Patrice Evra in the mailbox while there are also thoughts on Steven Gerrard's retirement from England duty. Plus, some rare cricket bantz...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property