Sand: Bayern will fail
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ebbe Sand believes that Bayern Munich will fail to beat Schalke again.Schalke star Ebbe Sand believes that Bayern Munich's Arena AufSchalke curse will persist when the Bundesliga leaders clash on Sunday.
Bayern and Schalke are level on points ahead of their much-awaited duel, but the visitors have lost all trips to Gelsenkirchen since the Royal Blues opened their Arena AufSchalke five years ago.
The Danish international was also insistent that the abundant quality in the Bayern squad was no match for the camaraderie displayed within the Schalke ranks.
"I have never lost a home game against Bayern and this record should last," declared Sand.
"I believe that the statistics will have an effect on Bayern, they'll be full of respect.
"Bayern have the better goal difference and therefore we have to beat them, they might have the better individuals, but we have the better team."
Sand is expected to spearhead Schalke's attack together with Gerald Asamoah and Brazilian Ailton.
Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick has an almost full squad to choose from, as Sven Vermant is ready to step in to replace suspended midfielder Christian Poulsen.
However Bayern managing director Uli Hoeness is confident ahead of the top-of-the-table clash, and feels his team will run away with the Bundesliga crown should they leave the Arena AufSchalke victorious.
"The title race is over if we win Sunday's game," stressed Hoeness.
Bayern's confidence was boosted in midweek when the Bavarians qualified for the UEFA Champions League quarter finals thanks to a narrow 3-2 aggregate win over Arsenal.
Mehmet Scholl and Roy Makaay will still miss out, although coach Felix Magath is confident that the same roster of players will replicate their recent good form.
"If we can play well against Arsenal, we should be able to beat Schalke," said Magath.