Schalke and Energie Cottbus matches last year were completely "night and day" with both clubs winning at home. Lausitzer were not very friendly winning 1-0 at Stadion der Freundschaft but in May die Königsblauen demolished them 5-0 with Kevin Kurányi netting the final four goals.
Although Energie sits at the bottom of the Bundesliga table, their performances haven't been as bad as their record suggests and just keep finding themselves on the wrong end of the score by a goal. Bojan Prašnikar's club is deserving of respect and Schalke must proceed with caution. This past weekend this secured a difficult point against Arminia Bielefeld even though they were constantly under seige and playing a man down for half the match. They play a tough challenge-heavy brand of Football that supporters can be proud-of and make use of good scouting contacts through the broadly defined Balkan region. Unfortunately for Die Lausitzer their relegation fight starts sometime near the first Löwenbräu being served at Oktoberfest so that toughness is called upon early. Ivan Radeljić will miss the match due to suspension and late fitness tests will decide whether
Branko Jelić or Ivica Iliev will replace him or Stiven Rivić will be brought up from the wing to work alongside Dennis Sørensen. Igor Mitreski and Stanislav Angelov are still out of the defending group.
Fred Rutten knows die Königsblauen are heading into a tough run, fully-fit and will look to kill this match off in an efficient manner. Following this match they face a nine-day stretch with Racing Santander in the UEFA Cup followed up by Bayern München and Bayer Leverkusen.