Aug 27, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ‚ÄčToumba Stadium, Thessaloniki
PAOKPAOK
2-3
SchalkeSchalke 04
Athanasiadis (53'), Katsouranis (79')
Kitsiou (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Szalai (43', 90'), Draxler (67')
Jones (19'), Santana (78')
Jones (64')

Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller: 'We are under huge pressure'

Schalke's teammates celebrate scoring during the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg football match Schalke 04 vs Greece's PAOK Salonika in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany on August 21, 2013
© Getty Images
Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller admits that his side are feeling the pressure to beat PAOK tonight and earn a place in the Champions League group stages.

Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller has declared that victory in tonight's Champions League qualifier against PAOK is absolutely imperative.

Keller's side have made a poor start to the Bundesliga, failing to win any of their first three matches.

Patchy league form was compounded by a 1-1 home draw with PAOK in the first leg last week, giving Schalke a tough task in Northern Greece to make the group stages.

The under-fire boss admitted that his side are under huge pressure to turn the tie round, but can draw on the experience of reaching the knockout stages last season.

He told reporters: "This is a very important match for the club, for everybody at Schalke. The pressure would be huge in any case, regardless of our run in the league.

"The 1-1 first-leg result is not ideal, but it is not fatal. We experienced the inverse scenario last season when we drew 1-1 with Galatasaray in Istanbul and then got eliminated at home.

"We have worked hard to reach this point. If we make it to the group stage, the team stand to benefit a lot from their participation in the Champions League."

Dutch striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar misses the tie for Schalke through injury, while Joel Matip and Leon Goretzka will both face late fitness tests.

Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is congratulated by team mate Christian Fuchs after scoring his second goal against Hamburg on August 11, 2013
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4Schalke 04Schalke11002023
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