Certainly our toughest fixture of the group stages, and coming at a time in the midst of a difficult patch of games in the league.
As seven points should secure our passage to the knock-out stage, Hughes can afford to not go all out on this one with potentially more winnable games still to come, but it is hoped we can come away with something so I do expect us to be at as near to full-strength as we can all but secure qualification with a win.
Schalke will not be easy opponents though, and had one foot in this seasons Champions League until getting demolished by Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their qualifier. They do possess a great deal of talent in their squad and when the draw was made were my tip to be group winners. With 4 points already in the bag they do look well placed for qualification:
UEFA Cup : Group A Table
There are plenty of Blues heading out for the trip, but it will be a tough night as we struggle to a 1-1 draw.