Kevin-Prince Boateng Schalke
Kevin-Prince Boateng is the main man for SchalkeReuters

Schalke will make sure there are no major hiccups when they host Steaua Bucharest in their opening match of the Champions League group stages.

The German side made a big statement by enticing Kevin-Prince Boateng to join them from AC Milan and the Ghana international will be the cynosure on Wednesday night.

The forward has already made quite an impact at his new club and will again be the biggest threat for Steaua.

"We don't necessarily have to negate Boateng because Schalke are a unit, a real team on the pitch," Steaua manager Laurentiu Reghecampf said.

"We are up against Schalke 04, a very strong side. I am not interested in their lineup that much, because we want to be able to play our own game.

"Steaua have a very balanced squad, a strong team. I think if they take us lightly, they might be in for a surprise. It will be a hard fight. We want to extend our stay in the Champions League into the spring, maybe even win the group."

Schalke are expected to finish second behind Chelsea in what on paper looks like a relatively straightforward group. However, when it comes to the Champions League, strange things do happen and the German side will want to ensure they start their campaign off on the right foot.

"I don't see Steaua as outsiders in the group," Schalke coach Jens Keller said. "Last year they won their Europa League group -- they won games against Ajax and Chelsea. Chelsea are clear favourites in the group and we want to put in a good display, but every team here is capable of winning matches.

"Since I came here, there have been plenty of matches we just 'had to win.' In the past two, three weeks we have done well. We have ironed out our mistakes from the opening days of the season. If we can repeat our performance level from the last two Bundesliga games, it will be very hard to take something from us."

Team News: Jermaine Jones is suspended for Schalke while Tim Hoogland is out with a pancreatic problem. Christian Fuchs and Felipe Santana, though, are back in contention for a place.

Steaua have a pretty healthy squad with only Alexander Chipciu missing with a knee injury.

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a kickoff on Thursday morning (12.15 am IST) with the match not scheduled for a Live telecast.

Expected lineups: Schalke: Hildebrand; Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Aogo, Hoger, Neustadter, Farfan, Boateng, Draxler, Szalai.

Steaua Bucharest: Tatarusanu; Szukula, Latovlevici, Gardos, Filip; Prepelita, Bourceanu, Cristea, Stanciu; Iancu, Piovaccari.

Prediction: 3-1 to Schalke