Spanish veteran Raul has warned his Schalke team-mates that Valencia will be 'more dangerous' in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League last 16 second-leg clash than in the draw in Spain.
The Royal Blues earned a 1-1 draw at Valencia on 15 February in the first leg and Raul says the Spanish side will come out with all guns blazing, especially after their 2-1 win at Mallorca on Saturday in La Liga. Goals either side of half-time by Valencia's Pablo Hernandez sealed Valencia's win which leaves them third in the Spanish league.
Raul netted his 71st European goal in the first-leg and is eager to add to his tally against his compatriots. "I expect them to be even more dangerous in comparison to the first leg," the 33-year-old former Real Madrid and Spanish international icon told uefa.com.
"I think they have great players who can play great matches away too. Although we have a small advantage going into the second leg, it's another 90 minutes in which Valencia have the ability to turn things around and score goals here. The starting position is good, but dangerous, the 1-1 looks better than it is. We need to make sure we take the lead."
Raul has scored 15 goals, three in the Champions League, since joining the Bundesliga outfit at the start of the season. He has brought a wealth of experience to Schalke having won the Champions League three times with Real. With his Dutch strike partner Klaas-Jan Huntelaar out with a knee injury, either Swiss star Mario Gavranovic or Brazil's Edu will be alongside Raul with a place in the last eight at stake. Schalke have an enviable European record at home this season and have won all three of their Champions League games at their Veltins Arena.
The Royal Blues have only made the Champions League quarter-finals twice before, but Raul says spirits are high. "We are full of confidence, it would be a great achievement for Schalke 04 to be among the best eight teams in Europe," he said.
Despite his advancing years, Raul insists he has plenty more to offer and hopes he can produce the goal which puts the Germans into the last eight. "Of course I hope I can score more goals, or even just one in the match against Valencia to help the team succeed," he said. "It could be that this is my last match in the Champions League - so many things can happen, and only time will tell."