Options open ahead of an exciting challenge

In VfB Stuttgart, last season’s second-division champions will visit the VETLINS-Arena on Sunday (10/09). Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco labelled them “not your usual promoted side,” as he spoke to the media about the exciting challenge that awaits his team tomorrow.

“Our opponents recently played very well against Mainz,” said the Royal Blues boss. “In Simon Terodde, Stuttgart have a real poacher up front, and Takuma Asano, Josip Brekalo and Chadrac Akolo bring a lot of pace to their game.”

VfB have a good mix of young and experienced players according to Tedesco. Their men with experience include Dennis Aogo and Holger Badstuber, who just last year wore the S04 jersey. However, neither will face their former club, as both are suffering with adductor problems.

This weekend, Tedesco and his coaching staff may be spoilt for choice, as "technically, every player in our squad is available". However, after their recent injuries, Guido Burgstaller and Franco Di Santo still have a little more work to do before they are at 100 percent. The 31-year-old coach is leaving his options open to the last minute as to whether one of the two strikers will be in the starting eleven, or whether he’ll go with another player as the centre-forward. “I have a few ideas for the line-up,” explained the boss. Fabian Reese and Breel Embolo are also options for the attack, as the latter played the full 90 minutes of the benefit match against FC Gütersloh, netting two goals. “Breel showed he’s made progress,” noted the coach, while “Fabi can play a number of positions.”

Tedesco can also plan with Benjamin Stambouli in mind. The Frenchman was suspended for Schalke’s last two matches due to a red card picked up last season, but he could make his season debut against Stuttgart. The defensive all-rounder has already featured this season, as he played the whole 90 minutes in the DFB Pokal against BFC Dynamo.