Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Schalke Preview

Fortuna Dusseldorf can count on a full house at the Dusseldorf Arena for the first time this season when Schalke come to town.

Football News: Fortuna Dusseldorf

Sanctions imposed after a pitch invasion overshadowed the club's promotion to the top flight of German football have now expired, meaning 49,000 fans can pack into the venue for the North-Rhine Westphalian derby on Friday night, and the season can begin in earnest, according to their coach Norbert Meier.

"We will have a full house tomorrow night [Friday] and there is nothing more beautiful than that," he said.

"Thank God all of the weights we had been carrying over from last season will disappear with the Schalke game."

Not that Fortuna have struggled with these burdens, which also included a two-match ban for their captain Andreas Lambertz, who recently became the first player to appear in all four top divisions of German football with the same club.

Fortuna are the only club yet to have conceded a single goal this season, but that is a record Meier is only partly proud of.

"It is not that I would sleep any worse if I think that we could concede a goal again sooner or later," he said at the pre-match press conference.

"We have got to keep our feet on the ground. Self-confidence is good and it is always useful to have collected a few points at the start of the season."

Schalke coach Huub Stevens is impressed with Fortuna's defensive resolve so far this season, but with the likes of Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Jefferson Farfan and Lewis Holtby in his side, it is a record he aims to break.

"Of course we want to change that," he said. "Five sides have so far failed to score against Dusseldorf and that says a lot about the quality of our opponents.

"They are very well organised and are doing a good job, but we are ready.

"They are more than welcome to keeping clean sheets, only not against us."

Farfan's place in the Royal Blues' attack is not guaranteed, though, since he picked up an ankle injury in midweek.

Jermaine Jones is also a doubt with a similar ailment and, in view of the Champions League clash with Montpellier next Tuesday, no risks will be taken on any players.

Meier has a fully-fit squad, on the other hand, with the one exception of Bruno Soares, who has been sidelined all season due to injury.



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