Jens Keller hopes packed Arena AufSchalke can help Schalke to Bundesliga win over Hamburg
Schalke coach Jens Keller is hoping a packed Arena AufSchalke can roar his side on to a winning start against Hamburg.
Last Updated: 10/08/13 2:08pm
The Royal Blues are aiming for a third straight season in the Champions League, if not a tilt at the title, while opponents Hamburg want to get back into Europe after a four-year hiatus.
Both sides will therefore be desperate for a strong start and Keller said: "I'm very confident and optimistic that we can win this game.
"We're in front of our own fans and, with them behind us, we want to win this game."
Hamburg are under less pressure to come away with the points, but that does not mean their coach Thorsten Fink is not aiming for the full bounty.
"We're well prepared, we got through our cup game (a 4-0 win over SV Schott Jena in the DFb-Pokal) and now we want to carry on this way," he said.
"This will be a real test of where we're at against strong opponents."
His side's hopes could be complicated a little by a virus which has struck down striker Artjoms Rudnevs, who scored twice in the cup win last weekend.
Fink will give him until an hour before kick-off to recover, saying "an appearance is not to be ruled out", but Petr Jiracek is on standby if required.
Keller has Jefferson Farfan fit after he too had a virus this week.
"He's definitely going to start," said the Schalke coach, who is still without the injured Kyriakos Papadopoulos.