Prediction: Exact Score 1-1
Schalke will be aiming to rescue their floundering Bundesliga season on Sunday as they travel to the capital to take on Union Berlin.
Both sides have been really off form since the league returned to action, with a victory at the weekend representing a fantastic opportunity to get back to winning ways.
Despite their debut season in the top-flight of German football having been very impressive, Urs Fischer’s troops have really struggled recently. They have lost three out of their last four matches since returning, only managing to score two goals; one in their most recent 4-1 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach and one in the 1-1 stalemate against Mainz. The recent loss against Gladbach now means that they sit 14th and only four points above 16th-placed Dusseldorf. Their recent form means that they have also gone six matches without a victory, their longest such run since earning promotion to the Bundesliga. One aspect that they need to rectify if they are to get back to form is their defensive record. Despite their respectable home record, the team have not earned a clean sheet at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in four matches.
Sheraldo Becker and Julian Ryerson both remain ruled out for Union ahead of the clash, whilst Akaki Gogia is doubtful due to fitness issues. Elsewhere, striker Sebastian Polter is not being considered for inclusion due to a contract dispute.
Whilst Union have been off form in recent weeks, their plight does not compare to Schalke. Despite sitting as high as third in November, David Wagner’s men have dropped all the way down to tenth and now look unlikely to make a return to European competition next season. Their last win in any form came in the 3-2 win against Hertha Berlin in the DFB-Pokal. Meanwhile, they only have two Bundesliga victories this calendar year and even they came at the beginning of January. Should they fall to another defeat this weekend, it would be the first time since the start of the 2018/19 that they have suffered five consecutive Bundesliga losses. One contributing factor to their poor form under Wagner has been their inability to perform on the road. They are winless in their past eight matches away from home, having failed to find the net in five of those games.
Schalke also have a few injury worries to contend with. Amine Harit is out with a ligament injury, whilst Suat Serdar is also ruled out with a knee problem. Meanwhile, Weston McKennie is ruled out through suspension. Omar Mascarell and Benjamin Stambouli are both doubtful.
Key Facts To Consider
- Schalke won the previous match between the two 2-1 in November
- Sebastian Andersson has already netted 12 goals already this season
- The two teams have gone a combined 17 winless matches between them recently
- Only the bottom three teams in the Bundesliga have scored fewer goals than both Schalke and Union’s 34
- Should Union win in Sunday, there will only be three points separating the two teams
Considering the poor form of both sides, each will be extremely low on confidence heading into this game, making the importance of a victory on Sunday even greater. Whilst it would be crucial for either of them to grab a win, there may not be many goals, producing a potential low-scoring draw.
Prediction: Exact Score 1-1
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