- Title: Leipzig face test of title credentials against in-form Schalke
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY (DECEMBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS TV) SCHALKE 04 COACH MARKUS WEINZIERL ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE REPORTERS WEINZIERL ON PODIUM WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) SCHALKE 04 COACH, MARKUS WEINZIERL, SAYING: "First of all, I would like to congratulate RB Leipzig. How they are currently playing is really good. They are top of the league and rightly so, with 30 points as a promoted team. That's very impressive. Hence, the game will be difficult accordingly. But we have enough self-confidence to go there and win, or at least score points. If we do as well as in recent weeks, for example like in Dortmund, we will have every opportunity. That's the aim." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE REPORTER'S NOTEPAD VARIOUS OF WEINZIERL IN DISCUSSION AT END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 10:21
- Keywords: Germany soccer Bundesliga Leipzig Schalke Hasenhuettl
- Location: LEIPZIG & GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
- City: LEIPZIG & GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA0035B6USZJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: RB Leipzig's title credentials will come under renewed attack on Saturday (December 3) as the Bundesliga's surprise leaders host Schalke 04, who have shaken off a dreadful start to go 12 games unbeaten in all competitions.
Leipzig's rise to the summit has shaken up the division with the unbeaten east German club having won their last seven league matches to top the table, three points ahead of champions Bayern Munich.
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl will have his top scorers Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg fit again after minor muscle injuries forced them to train alone earlier this week.
Defender Marvin Compper, however, is still doubtful after he suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago.
"Schalke currently is a team which has also undergone a certain improvement with its recent successes," Hasenhuettl told reporters.
"So this will be a very, very difficult task, maybe even the most comprehensive task which is awaiting us so far in the Bundesliga. In many ways, that team makes a very stable impression."
Hasenhuettl's success has sparked rumours in sections of the British media that Arsenal are looking at the Austrian as a possible replacement for manager Arsene Wenger when he eventually leaves the club.
"What can I say? I have heard of worst fates than being rumoured to become the successor of the probably longest serving coach in England. The article wasn't necessarily damaging my reputation. But I don't wake up in the morning having regrets about not having defrosted my fridge because the removal van is waiting outside my house. So we don't have to put too much thought into that. I have found my luck here and I won't be distracted from my course," said Hasenhuettl.
Schalke are in devilish form, having won five of their seven most recent Bundesliga matches, stretching their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions after they opened the campaign with five straight league defeats.
Apart from Leipzig, they are the league's most successful team in the last seven matches and have since jumped from last place to eighth in the Bundesliga, with club bosses having kept faith with new coach Markus Weinzierl despite their bad start.
He called RB Leizpzig's achievements "impressive," adding: "The game will be difficult accordingly. But we have enough self-confidence to go there and win, or at least score points. If we do as well as in recent weeks, for example like in Dortmund, we will have every opportunity. That's the aim," Weinzierl said.
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