Schalke vs Augsburg Preview

Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos has shown his commitment to the club by turning down a lucrative offer from Zenit St Petersburg to remain with the Royal Blues.

Football News: Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Schalke

The Greek defender will start at the heart of the Schalke defence against Augsburg on Saturday and the Schalke fans can look forward to seeing even more of him this season after he pledged his future to the Westphalian club.

"I am sure everybody can imagine how lucrative the offer from Zenit was, but the fact that I am still here and am staying here says everything about how committed I am to this club," he said.

"I am staying because I love playing for Schalke."

Papadopoulos can now look forward to games against Arsenal, Montpellier and a trip to his home country to face his former club Olympiakos in the Champions League as a result of yesterday's draw.

"Of course I am looking forward to facing my ex-club," he said on the Royal Blues' website.

"I got a few calls from home straight after the draw, but I am Schalke through and through now and therefore, I don't care who I am playing against as soon as the whistle blows."

Schalke may go into their Champions League game against Arsenal as underdogs and that is precisely how their opponents on Saturday will feel, but it is a role they are happy to fill.

They were beaten 2-0 at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf last weekend in the first game since gaining promotion to the top flight in which they were favourites to win.

"The team felt the pressure," admitted coach Markus Weinzierl. "It was a different situation in our heads and everybody expected a win."

Augsburg revert to being outsiders on Saturday.

"It has got to motivate every one of us to play against such a strong team," said midfielder Daniel Baier to the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

"Schalke is our next chance."

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