Both Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke welcomed the international break as it gave them some much-needed time to prepare for tomorrow's Bundesliga encounter.
With international matches taking place on Wednesday, the Europa League and Champions League participants respectively were given a rest, and there will not be another mid-week break now until December.
``It was a strange feeling,'' said Leverkusen's joint coach Sami Hyypia, who saw his side's five-match winning streak in all competitions come to an end last Saturday when they were defeated 3-1 by Wolfsburg.
``It gave us a bit more time to prepare for the Schalke game.
``We need to be physically and psychologically better in the tackle than we were against Wolfsburg, where we were a little tired.
``We have now had enough time for a rest and we also hope that a few injured players will return.''
Schalke coach Huub Stevens was equally pleased for the break, especially in view of his side's opponents, for whom he says ``we will need to be fresh'' to face.
``Nobody has been in touch to say they are injured, so I presume everybody is fit,'' he said with relief.
``It's going to be a tough game. Leverkusen play really good football and they can turn defence into attack very quickly with their excellent individuals.''
Hyypia repaid the compliment at the pre-match press conference, saying: ``Of course it will be a difficult game against a very good team, but for us, it is an opportunity to gauge where we are compared to such a top club.
``Against teams like these, my players certainly won't need any extra motivation.
``We were on a great run up to the Wolfsburg game and we now want to start a new one against Schalke.''