sport

Montpellier v Schalke preview

Although Schalke have already qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, they have no intention of showing any mercy on a Montpellier side seeking a consolatory first win in the competition.

Schalke have a one-point advantage over Arsenal at the top of Group B with both sides already qualified for the last 16.

The Bundesliga club therefore need only to match the Gunners' result against Olympiakos to head into the knockout stage as group winners.

"We desperately want to win the game so that we win the group, and then we are separated from the toughest opponents," said captain Benedikt Howedes.

"It's a good feeling already to be through, that enables us to play without any pressure."

Indeed, the fact only the group victory and not qualification is riding on Tuesday night's match-up at the Stade La Mosson has convinced Schalke coach Huub Stevens to leave Jefferson Farfan, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Ibrahim Afellay behind in Germany.

"(Farfan) took a knock to his ankle and had pain this morning, so I decided not to take him," said Stevens on Monday.

"(Papadopoulos) is not so badly injured, he will just rest for a few days, otherwise you can risk missing many games when you are playing every midweek."

Pride is all that defending French champions Montpellier have to play for but that is still enough to get them motivated, according to coach Rene Girard.

"It's a Champions League match and it's something to respect," he said. "We also need games like this to help us find our best form for the league or for other competitions."

Montpellier can recall Souleymane Camara, as he is available having served a one-game ban after picking up three group-stage yellow cards.