sport

Stevens: Top not essential

Schalke coach Huub Stevens hopes to finish first in his side's Champions League group but does not expect it to be a crucial factor.

The Bundesliga outfit ensured they would progress to the knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Olympiacos on Wednesday night, and victory over Montpellier in their final game would guarantee they finish above Group B rivals Arsenal.

Although first place would ensure home advantage for the second leg of the last-16 tie, Stevens says being seeded does not necessarily mean they will receive an easier opponent.

"We can't draw Arsenal, Bayern and Dortmund anyway so that already move a few out of the way," Stevens told Sky television.

"First place would obviously be better, but it's not necessary. We just need to look at ourselves and how we get through our coming games.

"Of course we will try to finish first and we'll see how we play in Montpellier."

Stevens expects Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to be leading his side's attack for their last-16 match in February, despite rumours he is preparing to leave the club this winter to join Arsenal.

"I don't know where that (rumour) comes from, but I don't think it's true," said the Dutchman."