Schalke head to Galatasaray with 'nothing to lose' insists Hildebrand

19 February 2013 12:46

Schalke 04 flew off for Wednesday's Champions League clash at Galatasaray with goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand insisting they have nothing to lose in the cauldron of Istanbul's Turk Telekom Stadium.

"These are the games footballers live for," said Hildebrand, who made the last of his seven appearances for Germany in 2007, ahead of Wednesday's last 16, first-leg match.

"We don't actually have anything to lose."

Schalke jetted out of Germany on Tuesday morning with the Royal Blues low on confidence after just one win in their last 12 games having dropped from second to tenth in the Bundesliga before Saturday's 2-2 draw at Mainz left them ninth.

As one of only four teams to finish the Champions League group phase unbeaten, with away wins at Olympiakos and Arsenal, Schalke need to dramatically improve on recent performances to keep their undefeated status.

Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is available after two weeks out after bursting a blood vessel in his eye.

'The Hunter' has scored in four of Schalke's six European games so far this season and including the wins at Arsenal and Olympiakos, but has struggled for form recently.

"Fear is always a bad advisor," said Schalke midfielder Marco Hoeger.

"Galatasaray have great players like Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder amongst others.

"We go there with lots of respect, but we'll have no fear.

"We also have good players in our ranks. The fact Huntelaar is fit again, is important, he has already helped us get some results. We all hope that he keeps doing it in Istanbul."

Teenager Max Meyer made his Bundesliga debut for the last 20 minutes at Mainz as the 17-year-old helped create the second equaliser and could feature again against Galatasaray.

"He is one of the greatest talents in Germany," said Schalke coach Jens Keller as two goals by Brazil midfielder Michel Bastos meant the Royal Blues avoided their third straight defeat.

Schalke have considerable injury problems with defenders Atsuto Uchida, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, midfielders Ibrahim Afellay, Christoph Moritz, striker Ciprian Marica and goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall all out.

Brazilian forwar Raffael is cup tied.

Source: AFP