15th March, 2012
Schalke 04 have reason to feel confident as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 decider against FC Twente in Gelsenkirchen.
The German side will look to maintain their flawless home record against Dutch opponents when FC Twente come to Gelsenkirchen for their UEFA Europa League round of 16 decider.
Luuk de Jong’s penalty (61) gave Twente a first-leg lead, following a game played in good spirit in Enschede. The home fans even unveiled a huge banner behind the goal which read, in Twente red and Schalke blue: “Two clubs, two colours, one passion.”
The sides’ only previous meeting came in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, when Steve McClaren’s Twente beat Fred Rutten’s Schalke 2-1.Schalke are unbeaten at home in Europe this season, recording four wins and a 0-0 draw against AEK Larnaca FC. That match, on 3 November 2011, saw them keep their only clean sheet at home in eight European outings.
Twente are playing in the round of 16 for the second season in succession, having reached the quarter-finals at FC Zenit St Petersburg’s expense last time out before losing to Villarreal.Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is the highest scorer left in the competition with six goals, one less than RSC Anderlecht’s Matías Suárez – the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League’s top scorer, even though his RSC Anderlecht were eliminated in the round of 32.