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FCB in confident mood

"We want to get to Berlin!"

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Carlo Ancelotti was in a good mood on the eve of the DFB Cup quarter-final against FC Schalke 04 (Wednesday 20:45 CET, live ticker and Webradio commentary). That’s not surprising given his team’s performances in recent weeks. “I’m very happy right now,” said the 57 year-old. “We’re playing with a very good attitude at the moment. Without this attitude we wouldn't be able to show our quality.”

The boss is not resting on his laurels, though, and wants to push on: “We can still do better.” The 8-0 triumph over Hamburg on Saturday has “given the team confidence, but tomorrow is a completely different game. It’s a quarter-final and we want to progress to the semis.” Ancelotti went a step further: “We want to get to Berlin!”

Alaba doubtful

With that in mind, he’s been carrying out detailed preparations for tomorrow’s opponents. Fortunately, FCB’s last encounter with Schalke was only a few weeks ago when they met in the league on 4th February. “I have lots of respect for Schalke. They played very well a few weeks ago and gave us problems.” On Wednesday his side must “play differently”.

They’ll be hoping to play like they did last weekend. “We attacked with a lot of movement against Hamburg. Movement off the ball is particularly important when the opponents have a lot of men back defending,” explained Ancelotti, who does not intend to rotate much. However he may be without David Alaba who has a minor problem, so a late decision will be made about his involvement. Renato Sanches will definitely miss out due to illness as will Jérôme Boateng who is continuing his recovery training.

Defensive Schalke expected

Ancelotti doesn’t expect many changes from Schalke, either. “I imagine they’ll play similarly to the previous game with the same system. They’ll defend tightly with five men and try to counter.” Their attack is likely to be led by the pacey Guido Burgstaller, who’s in good form and doesn’t want to hide at the Allianz Arena.

“We want to take our chance in Munich. We mustn’t have fear and we need to believe in ourselves. We’re unbeaten in seven games and we can keep that going,” said Burgstaller, showing that he’s up for the fight. Along with long-term absentees Abdul Rahman Baba, Coke, Breel Embolo and Franco Di Santo, coach Markus Weinzierl will also be without Naldo, while Sead Kolasinac is a doubt. Therefore Holger Badstuber, who’s on loan from Bayern, is likely to feature.