Preview: Schalke v Salzburg

Bundesliga strugglers FC Schalke 04 will be hoping for a Europa League tonic when they welcome Salzburg to the VELTINS-Arena on Thursday.

Markus Weinzierl's side have made a disappointing start to the new league season, where they are rock-bottom in the standings after losing their opening five matches.

However, they got off to a good start in Europe after beating Nice 1-0 in their Group I opener at the Allianz Riviera a fortnight ago, courtesy of Baba Rahman's 75th-minute strike.

Die Roten Bullen are looking to get their European challenge back on track, having lost 1-0 at home to Krasnodar in their opening group game.

Final training session ahead of thursday's game against @fcredbullsalzburg. ?⚪️ #S04

A photo posted by FC Schalke 04 (@s04) on

The Austrian Bundesliga champions have lost just once domestically this term and trail early pace-setters Sturm Graz by four points after nine outings.

They are also unbeaten since losing to the Russian club, with two wins and a draw – the run including a 7-1 hammering of Mannsdorf.

Commenting on the danger posed by Salzburg, Weinzierl said in his pre-match press conference: "A good side who have dominated the Austrian league for the past few years. They have a lot of quality, especially going forward."

However, he has called on his players to cut out their mistakes against Oscar Garcia's men as the Gelsenkirchen outfit look to turn their fortunes around.

"The situation is of course not pleasant. Recently we have simply conceded far too many goals, and often from individual errors. We have to fix that," the former Augsburg head coach added.

"Our task is to go without errors as much as possible, and when we do make mistakes, we need to come through as a team."

The hosts could be without Leon Goretzka and Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting on Thursday as the duo are nursing injuries.

Midfielder Goretzka is battling with a muscular problem, while striker Chuopo-Moting picked up a knock in the 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Sunday, where he scored the opening goal.

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