On Schalke the Tyrolean Alessandro Schöpf missed two matches with a feverish cold. For the Nations-League match against Northern Ireland the traffic light switches back to green.
Bad Waltersdorf – The most important news first: Alessandro Schöpf is healthy. In an ÖFB team (Alaba, Grillitsch, Gregoritsch) that’s not a matter of course in a team that’s been shaken by retirements. A feverish cold had tied the Schalker to his bed and made him miss both the Champions League match in Moscow and the Bundesliga match in Düsseldorf. Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco would probably not have voluntarily given up the Ötztaler, because the 24-year-old was one of the driving forces behind the “royal blue resurrection” after a weak start of the royal blues. In his first victory of the season – a 1-0 win over Mainz – the offensive midfielder even scored the winning goal. “The pressure was already very great, especially after the successful last season”, Schöpf confirmed on Tuesday in the team camp, that the headwind in Gelsenkirchen was quite frosty recently.
On the right midfield side Schöpf has stuck to Schalke again. After the failures of Grillitsch and Alaba, the Tyrolean could move the Nations-League match against Northern Ireland (Friday, 20.45, live ORF eins) and the test in Denmark but at the ÖFB again in the center. And thus there, where he feels most comfortable. “My favourite position is behind the tops, but the team boss knows that I can be used flexibly,” Schöpf told his coach Franco Foda.
Franco Foda Honours
- 1. FC Kaiserslautern
- DFB-Pokal 1989–90
- Bayer Leverkusen
- DFB-Pokal: 1992–93
- Sturm Graz
- Austrian Football Bundesliga: 1997–98, 1998–99
- Austrian Cup: 1998–99
- Austrian Supercup: 1999
- Sturm Graz
- Austrian Cup: 2009–10
- Austrian Football Bundesliga: 2010–11
But the German knows that anyway. After all, it was also Schöpf’s flexibility that caught the eye of the 52-year-old as a storm coach. However, a (loan) transfer to Graz was not possible during Schöpf’s time in Bavaria because the Tyrolean decided to transfer to Nuremberg. An anecdote that shows that Schöpf’s shares are highly regarded by the ÖFB team boss. Check out BetZest Casino to know more about the game.
So it was all the more surprising that the Tyrolean was not used at all at the Nations-League opening in Bosnia (0:1) – but on Friday against Northern Ireland, the former Nuremberg player should come back to his minutes. A game that the Ötztaler classifies “more or less as a compulsory victory”. “If we play like we do over long distances in the test games, I am convinced that we can win.
By the way, the man who had been advertising himself a lot with his goals against Germany and Russia in the summer fulfilled a childhood dream just three weeks ago: The first Champions League match against FC Porto will be followed by many more. But now it’s all about the eagle on your chest.