Christoph Metzelder believes the key to overcoming Manchester United is to keep Wayne Rooney quiet.
The Schalke centre-half is set to come face-to-face with the England international on Tuesday, when United arrive in Germany for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Schalke are considered to be outsiders to book a final date at Wembley, despite having sent current European champions Inter Milan crashing out in the quarter-finals.
There will, however, be no inferiority complex within Ralf Rangnick's ranks, with Metzelder of the opinion that the Bundesliga outfit already have the measure of United.
"It's all about stopping Rooney, he's the key player," said the Germany international.
"The first match is at home so it will be very important not to concede a goal.
"Against Chelsea he dropped into the midfield, so it's important to defend against him not only with the defensive line but also with the midfielders.
"Of course we know that Manchester United have so many key players but they don't scare us."
Metzelder also claims to be happy at having seen Schalke draw United, rather than tournament favourites Barcelona.
He added: "It would be much more difficult for us to play against Barcelona. The style of Manchester United is easier for us, if you can say that.
"Barcelona take control and they make you run so much it's very difficult to defend against them.
"It's easier to play against teams like Manchester United, or even Real Madrid."
Who will contest the UEFA Champions League final?
Schalke and Barca
Schalke and Madrid
Man Utd and Barca
Man Utd and Madrid