Lukas Podolski has warned his Arsenal teammates not to underestimate tomorrow night’s opponents, saying that Schalke will provide the toughest test yet in this season’s Champions League.
The German international knows the opposition well, having just moved from the Bundesliga this summer, and he’s well aware of their qualities.
“Schalke is a very strong team, the strongest we will face in the group stage,” he said.
“If we can win this game we will be very well placed. Schalke are a good team though, they are something special at home, with their fans behind them, so we will want the three points at home.
“I know their coach, Huub Stevens, very well because he coached me for a season when I was at Cologne. They will be tough to beat, but we must go for the three points.”
Despite being taken off against Norwich on Saturday with an ankle problem, Podolski is hoping his recent good record against Schalke will see his name on the scoresheet again.
“I think in each of the past two or three games I played against them I have scored, so I quite like playing against them. Hopefully I can do it again in the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has praised Podolski for the way he’s settled into life at Arsenal and what he brings to the team.
“He has a very friendly attitude and works very hard,” he said at the press conference earlier. “He’s a team player and I think you can’t lie to the crowd. He’s very happy here. He’s a good voice to have in the dressing room. He has been received well.
“He’s ready for every game. He’s played very well for us until Saturday. On Saturday he was a bit less effective, like the whole team. We are very happy with him. He works very hard for the team.
“He scores goals and makes goals. Tomorrow there will be a little more pressure on him but he’s used to that. He’s got 100 Germany caps so he can handle it.”