DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Jermaine Jones will hope to find his way back into the starting lineup on Wednesday evening as Schalke face Group B leaders Lyon in a potential battle for first place.
FC Schalke 04 - Olympique Lyonnais
After being left out of the squad over the weekend for Schalke's league victory over Bremen, Jermaine Jones is in coach Felix Magath's 18 for the team's crucial encounter against Olympique Lyonnais.
The Königsblauen put up their best performance of the season on Saturday in blowing past rivals Bremen by a commanding 4-0 score, however Jones was not in uniform after being given the afternoon off by Magath.
The team does appear to have gotten past their awful start to the season, as they have won two of their last three in league play, and are in control of their own destiny to advance to the final 16 of the Champions League.
Lyon hold a two-point advantage ahead of Schalke atop the group and can secure their own place with a win, while Schalke would need a win coupled with an unlikely victory by last-place Hapoel Tel-Aviv over third-place Benfica to find themselves already through with their final tilt at the Portuguese team in early-December still looming.
Aside from the absence of midfielder Christoph Moritz thanks to a dislocated shoulder, Schalke have no immediate injury concerns, with long-term absentees Levan Kenia, Tim Hoogland and Christian Pander still not close to returning to the field.
Lyon will be lacking central defender Cris to a recurrence of tendinitis in the knee, while midfielders Clement Grenier, Ederson and Cesar Delgado are all out with thigh problems.
Maurice Edu is still recovering from a knee injury and will not participate on Wednesday when Rangers host Group C leaders Manchester United in Ibrox, with their chances of advancing to the group stage hanging in the balance.
Oguchi Onyewu has not been selected as a part of AC Milan's squad for group stage play, and did not participate on Tuesday evening as the Rossoneri secured their place in the knockout round with a 2-0 victory on the road over AJ Auxerre.