Schalke manager David Wagner is refusing to underestimate Hoffenheim ahead of Sunday’s Bundesliga clash. Wagner took the reigns at the German outfit in May, replacing Huub Stevens in the dugout after he had been placed in temporary charge following Domenico Tedesco’s sacking in March.
He has made a positive start to life back in his homeland at the club he represented for two years as a player.
Schalke boast five victories from his eight games at the helm and return from the international break sitting sixth in the table.
They are just two points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach and have the opportunity to break into the top four on Sunday.
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Victory over Hoffenheim, who lie 12th, could propel them into the Champions League places although Wagner is taking nothing for granted.
Hoffenheim may have only won twice in the league this term but one of those victories came at defending champions Bayern Munich prior to the international break.
Wagner said: “It speaks for itself when you manage to beat Bayern München away. They proved all of their recent doubters wrong. They’re a strong team with a clear philosophy and a lot of individual quality.”
There are doubts over the availability of Suat Serdar for the clash after he had to leave training on Tuesday due to adductor problems.
He was also absent from training on Friday and Wagner, who turns 48 on Saturday, admits he isn’t sure if the midfielder will make up part of the matchday squad. “It’s hard to tell if he will be ready for the Hoffenheim game,”
Wagner added. “We will see how he does in the final training session. Suat will only play if he is without pain and can complete the full session.”11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. DOWNLOAD NOW!!!