Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(0 - 1)
Schalke 04
S. van den Berg (81), D. Drexler (90)
M. Ducksch (18)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Bremen face "striker crisis" ahead of Schalke

SV Werder Bremen head-coach Ole Werner revealed that all three of his natural strikers might not make it back in time to face FC Schalke 04 in Saturday evening's "Top-Spiel". 
The persistent calf problems that have kept lead-striker Niclas Füllkrug out of the SV Werder Bremen squad the past two matchdays threaten to sideline the German national team striker yet again in this coming weekend's encounter against FC Schalke 04. Last week's hat-trick hero Marvin Ducksch - along with fellow starter Niklas Schmidt - have been taken ill and been unable to train since Wednesday. Even the team's lone remaining striker, 21-year-old Eren Dinkçi, has been experiencing problems with his foot.

All of this was disclosed at a Thursday pre-match presser, during which SV trainer Ole Werner admitted that he was "naturally thinking about which personnel can work up front." Should both Ducksch and Füllkrug remain unavailable, it will be the first time in 61 competitive fixtures that one or the other hasn't featured in Werner's preferred 3-5-2 system. The Werder trainer isn't one known to like to tinker with his system.

"We already have a few ideas in mind there," Werner said at the press conference, "and I still hope that as many as possible of the question marks are erased at the Friday training session and are available to us."

Werner could deploy Maximilian Philipp - who replaced Füllkrug alongside Ducksch in the last two matches - alone up top. Leonardo Bittencourt and Romano Schmid are certainly capable of playing higher up the pitch if necessary.

Werder have the chance to officially seal another season of Bundesliga football on Saturday in the even of a win and a Stuttgart loss.

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