Arsenal travel to Germany looking for a win that should all but ensure qualification to the next round of the Champions League. The Gunners will also travel with revenge on their minds, having lost the earlier game, at home, to the Bundesliga club. Meanwhile, Huub Stevens' men are a point clear of Arsene Wenger and his side and a win, for them, will confirm their ascendancy over the Emirates club and that the 2-0 win in London was no fluke.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 7.45 pm BST and live coverage starts from 7 pm BST on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2. Live coverage is also available online at Gamecast on Soccernet. Registered Arsenal.com members can watch a pre-game show on Arsenal Player on the club's official Web site.
The hosts for this game were beaten 3-2 by TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the weekend league fixture; the defeat brings a four-match unbeaten run to an end. However, the loss was only Schalke's second of the season - the other defeat was to league leaders Bayern Munich. The Germans have already beaten Arsenal this season, thanks to goals from in-form and in-demand Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and on-loan midfielder Ibrahim Afellay.
Arsenal travel to the Veltins-Arena on the back of a disappointingly poor 1-2 defeat at Old Trafford and in the middle of an unhappy run of form. The Gunners have only 15 points in the league this season and the haul represents Arsene Wenger's worst ever start to a Premier League season. The veteran Frenchman seems to be paying the price for the now traditional loss of key players in the summer - the latest to leave being last season's top scorer Robin van Persie and influential midfielder Alex Song. The north London club does have a trio of new attackers in Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but apart from some brilliant performances from Caozrla, the club has offered little in the way of goal threats to top-class opposition.
- Last Five (most recent first): L W W W W
- Last Match: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3 - 2 Schalke 04
- Last Five (most recent first): L W W L L
- Last Match: Manchester United 2 - 1 Arsenal
The hosts have no injuries or suspensions and will probably name a full-strength side for this fixture. Goal heroes from the Emirates - Huntelaar and Afellay will both start, with Premier League target Lewis Holtby also likely to play. Peruvian striker Jefferson Farfan will be the third man up front in Stevens' 4-3-3 formation, with Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta and Jermaine Jones providing midfield support.
At the back, Austrian international Christian Fuchs had an excellent game at the Emirates and the left back is a key member of the German club's defence. He will have German international Benedikt Howedes, the club captain, and Joel Matip and Kyriakos Papadopoulos for company, with Lars Unnerstall in goal.
Schalke: Unnerstall; Howedes, Papadopoulos, Matip, Fuchs; Jones, Holtby, Barnetta; Farfan, Huntelaar, Afellay
Wenger will be relieved at the return of English international left back Kieran Gibbs, particularly after the poor performances of his stand-in - Brazilian André Santos. Unfortunately for Gunners' fans, Gibbs is short of match fitness and while he may make an appearance from the bench, he is unlikely to start. Santos, meanwhile, is almost definitely not going to start. Wenger will probably move Frenchman Bacary Sagna to left back and bring youngster Carl Jenkinson in on the right. Polish goal keeper Wojciech Szczesny is back to full fitness but he too may not start, given stand-in Vito Mannone's display against United in the last game.
Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen may have been at fault for van Persie's opener against United but given he is normally a very reliable player, Wenger will likely retain him in defence. Frenchman Laurent Koscielny may get the nod ahead of German Per Mertesacker, in central defence.
The match against United also saw 20 year old English international Jack Wilshere shown a red card, meaning the midfielder will not be available for the weekend game against Fulham and could therefore make an appearance in this game. However, he is still on his comeback trail after a 14-month injury lay-off and given the importance of this match, Wenger may decide to use a slightly more defensive midfield - with Francis Coquelin likely to partner the Spanish duo of Cazorla and Mikel Arteta.
Up front, Theo Walcott's recent good performances may earn him a starting berth, despite questions over his future with the club. German international Podolski returns to his homeland for the first time, in a competitive sense, since leaving in the summer and will be eager to make a good impression. Expect Giroud to lead the line... although it would be interesting to see Podolski play the striker role with Gervinho and Walcott manning the flanks.
Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Sagna; Arteta, Coquelin, Cazorla; Walcott, Podolski, Giroud