Schalke hurting ahead of Arsenal tie

Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes hopes tomorrow’s Champions League clash with Arsenal will help him forget Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Hoffenheim.

The Royal Blues won in London two weeks ago and, according to Howedes, the Gunners will be an easier opponent to face than Hoffenheim were.

“They will play along [the ground] more and give us more room which we have got to try to exploit,” he said.

“It is good that we now have another game so soon, so that we don’t have long to think about this game.

“Arsenal are a great team and we are going to have to keep our concentration high.”

Defeat by Hoffenheim saw Schalke fall seven points behind league leaders Bayern Munich — 3-0 winners at Hamburg — but Howedes said they only had themselves to blame.

“We should have scored four or five goals,” he said. “Then we fell asleep at times.

“These are important points that we really should have taken.”

Braga, who entertain Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday, remain three points behind league leaders Benfica and Porto in Portugal following a 3-1 victory against Gil Vicente on Saturday.

Ajax lost their unbeaten record in the Dutch top flight on Saturday, going down 2-0 at home to third-placed Vitesse Arnhem.

The Dutch side face Manchester City in the Champions League tomorrow but were never in contention against Vitesse.

Shakhtar Donetsk warmed up for their trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday by beating Metallurg Zaporizhzhya 2-0 at the weekend, with goals from Douglas Costa and Luiz Adriano.

Barcelona defender Adriano will miss his side’s trip to Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday after being ruled out for three weeks following Saturday’s 3-1 win against Celta Vigo.

The Brazilian was substituted seven minutes before half-time after scoring the opening goal at the Nou Camp.

Also in Spain, Jose Mourinho recorded his 100th win as coach of Real Madrid with a 4-0 win over Real Zaragoza on Saturday, a game in which Luka Modric and Michael Essien scored their first goals for the club.

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