Team news, manager quotes and facts ahead of the Champions League group B match between Arsenal and Schalke at the Emirates Stadium.
Defender Laurent Koscielny is set to return to the Arsenal squad after missing Saturday’s defeat against Norwich with a back injury, but forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain misses out with the hip injury he picked up against the Canaries. Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Bacary Sagna are unlikely to feature, and Theo Walcott is not match fit. Full back Kieran Gibbs also remains sidelined with a thigh injury.
Schalke have injury concerns with attacking midfielder Julian Draxler a major doubt after breaking his left wrist in the 2-2 draw against Montpellier. Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos returned to training on Sunday after more than two weeks out with chicken pox, but there is a doubt over his match fitness.
Arsene Wenger: “He (Lukas Podolski) is hot in every game – he has played very well until Saturday. For tomorrow (against Schalke), he has a bit more pressure than normal, but I think he’s used to that – he has over 100 caps for Germany, so I think he can handle that. He is a very friendly person and he works very hard – and I think he works hard for the team as well. I don’t think you can pretend with this sort of thing. In the dressing room, there is a great atmosphere and I think he has been accepted very well.”
Huub Stevens: “Our young team is still developing. But the players have shown what they are capable of. I see Arsenal as the favourites for our group. Montpellier, Olympiacos and we will be fighting for second place.”
Arsenal met Schalke in the 2001-02 Group Stage, winning 3-2 at home and losing 1-3 in Gelsenkirchen.
Schalke have won just one of their last eight European games against English teams (W1 D1 L6), but that was their 3-1 win over Arsenal at home in September 2001.
Schalke have failed to score in four of their last five European games against English opponents, including their last three home matches.
All three of Aaron Ramsey’s Champions League goals have been netted in the 90th minute or later.
Lukas Podolski has scored four goals in his last three Champions League matches.
Since losing to Inter in 2003, Arsenal have only lost two out of 43 Champions League home games and those were against other English teams.
Schalke have won 14 and lost just four of their last 25 European matches.
The German side have won nine and lost none of their last 13 Group matches in Europe (CL & EL).
Arsenal have the best conversion rate in the Champions League so far, scoring with 36% of their shots.
All three shots on target Schalke have faced so far have found the net.