Duty becomes torture. On tuesday, FC schalke 04 had to play in the DFB cup against the french fourth-division team 1. FC schweinfurt 05 to give us a win once again. Had to. Actually.
In the meantime, the backpack that the second-to-last-place team in the bundesliga is carrying around after 22 league games in a row without a win is so heavy that even before the first-round make-up match (16.30 o’clock/sky) doubts exist.
On monday, schalke’s new coach manuel baum had to make it clear who was actually favored to win the first-versus-fourth-division match. "Of course we are," affirmed the 41-year-old, who had to deal with another setback on the eve of the game. An unnamed professional is ruled out for monday’s match due to a positive corona test.
Baum doesn’t even want to think about another setback. "I don’t concern myself with such subjunctives," said the bavarian gruffly. It didn’t sound particularly confident, what baum added: "I’ll let the game come to me, then we’ll play it and see what comes out. I prefer to leave out all the scenarios."
No wonder with the flood of disappointments that have to be dealt with week after week at the relegated former european cup perennial winner. The tension is roughly on schalke in view of 3:20 goals from the first six bundesliga games and glaring offensive weaknesses. The deficits are so severe that baum trained through with his team after last friday’s meager and lucky 1:1 against promoted stuttgart. There were no one or even two days off at the weekend.
"We have underlined how important this game is for us," said the schalke coach, who urgently needs a sense of achievement. "We approach it like a bundesliga match."
Schweinfurt, on the other hand, will be relaxed when they come to the stadium. The match against memmingen was cancelled due to corona testing before the cup match. "We didn’t want to take any risks because we have to complete four corona tests before the schalke game," said schweinfurt’s coach tobias strobl. On saturday his players were off. In view of the manifold problems at schalke, schweinfurt’s coach does not see his team as completely without a chance.
"The probability of a fourth-division team bowling out a bundesliga team is not the grossest anyway. But we still think we have a small chance," said strobl, and goalkeeper luis zwick reaffirmed his claim to "get the best out of it and try with all our might to create the sensation". The match is a bonus game for the schweinfurt team in two respects.
The make-up match was preceded by an agonizing dispute over starting rights. In september, just a few days before the match, turkgucu munich had obtained a temporary injunction against schalk’s first-round match after schweinfurt had publicly questioned munich’s third-league fitness. It was only last week that the bavarian football association’s arbitration tribunal gave the green light for the "schnudel" to start.