Preview - Manchester United vs Schalke 04 UEFA Champion League Semifinal 26 April 2011

Manchester United travels to the Veltins-Arena to take on Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League Semifinals as they attempt overturn their misfortunes against German opposition. Although they have beat a team from Germany in the group stages and the final, the Reds have never been able to match that feat in any two-legged tie in the knockout stages of the competition.

After advancing to the semifinals of this competition, United has seen a trifecta of varying results in their last three matches, however, the Reds have re-energize their focus on conquering the European Cup for a fourth time, but, as they have done up to this point, Schalke will prove to be a tough opponent.

As it stands right now, Sir Alex Ferguson's record against German clubs in the quarterfinals and semifinals in Europe is an abysmal one win, five losses and two draws, however, he did manage to beat Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final.

United was bounced out of the competition by Borussia Dortmund in 1997 Semifinals (0-1, 0-1); Bayern Munich in the 2001 Quarterfinals (0-1, 1-2); 2010 Quarterfinal (1-2, 3-2) and Bayer Leverkusen 2002 Semifinals (2-2, 1-1). The only time that the Reds ever tasted victory in those eight matches - a 3-2 win at Old Trafford last season, but it still saw them exit the competition prematurely on the away goals rule, which happened against Leverkusen as well.

United should be expecting the same kind of "typical" German resistance again, but this time from Schalke, a team that the Reds have never met before.

Schalke (4-4-2): Neuer; Uchida, Metzelder, Howedes, Sarpei; Baumjohann, Matip, Papadopoulos, Jurado; Edu, Raul.

Benedikt Howedes is a doubt for the hosts and could join an injured list which includes Peer Kluge, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Christian Pander, Mario Gavranovic, Christop Moritz and Tim Hoogland.

Manchester United (4-4-2): Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney, Hernandez.
The vistors are expected to bring Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs back to the starting line-up after they were all rested at the weekend. Rafael may get the nod at right-back whilst striker Dimitar Berbatov is a doubt and Darren Fletcher is still to return to full fitness after a virus. 


  • Schalke have won every single one of their home matches in the Champions League this season.
  • Striker Raul (pictured right) has won the Champions League three times, all as a Real Madrid player, as many times as United have won the competition.
  • This is Schalke’s first ever appearance in the last four of the Champions League and also their first ever tie against Manchester United.
  • Schalke currently sit 10th in the Bundesliga, 29 points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.
  • Ralf Rangnick's side warmed up for the semi-final with a 1-0 home defeat to Kaiserslautern
  • Manchester United are yet to concede a goal on their travels this season, and have won four and drawn one of their five away games.
  • Ryan Giggs is the sole survivor of the Manchester United team that famously defeated Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 1999 Champions League final courtesy of late goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham. Paul Scholes was suspended and missed the final at Camp Nou.
  • The Red Devils have never won a two-legged knockout tie against German opposition. They have lost all four attempts, most recently against Bayern Munich last season in the quarter-finals.  
  • Michael Owen scored a hat-trick on his last appearance on German soil. The striker bagged all three goals as United beat Wolfsburg 3-1 in the group stages last season. 
  • Sir Alex Ferguson has led United to six Champions League semi-finals, his record is won three, lost three.

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