Magath claims credit for Schalke's success
Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath heads for Gelsenkirchen this weekend expecting a warm welcome from his former club.
Magath takes his side to Schalke for their Bundesliga meeting on Sunday claiming to be the person responsible for the Royal Blues' current success. After reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season, Schalke are currently fourth in the Bundesliga, just five points adrift of league leaders Borussia Dortmund, and Magath is keen to take a share of the credit.
"I left behind a team who play excellent matches and are already planning for the Champions League again and could even win the Bundesliga," he told Kicker magazine. "I am proud of the work I did there. Schalke's success is confirmation of my work."
Magath is currently struggling to live up to his usual standards, although a recent upturn in form has taken Wolfsburg into eighth place, just four points adrift of the top six and a place in Europe next season.
However, a place in the Champions League is looking a tall order for any team outside of the current top four. Fifth-placed Werder Bremen are eight points adrift of Schalke, who are two behind third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach, a side who could still create the ultimate shock in winning the league.
"Of course they can do it," said their former captain Stefan Effenberg in the Bild newspaper. "They have nothing to be afraid of - they play great football and would be deserved champions. It would be a great story." Lucien Favre's Gladbach side, who only avoided relegation in a play-off at the end of last season, travel to Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
Leaders Dortmund travel to Hertha Berlin while second-placed Bayern Munich visit Freiburg. Elsewhere, Hamburg and Bremen meet in a northern Germany derby, strugglers Nurnberg and Cologne clash in a relegation battle and Bayer Leverkusen host Augsburg.
The weekend starts with Hoffenheim's clash with Mainz tomorrow and concludes with Stuttgart's trip to Hannover on Sunday evening.