MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 10:06:54| >> :600:2845963:2845963:
May 8, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Rhein-Neckar-Arena
HoffenheimHoffenheim
4-2
SchalkeSchalke 04
Kramaric (47'), Akpoguma (52'), Baumgartner (60'), Bebou (64')
Adamyan (62')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Uth (12'), Mustafi (42')
Serdar (35'), Uth (56')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hoffenheim take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts looking to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.

Schalke, meanwhile, simply have pride to play for having already been relegated.


Match preview

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Hoffenheim are not completely clear of relegation just yet, but with four teams and seven points between themselves and the relegation playoff position, any risk of them falling into the second tier of German football for the first time since 2008 looks slim.

Sebastian Hoeness has clearly made a conscious effort to tighten up the defence in recent weeks, with his side impressively keeping clean sheets against Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig before overturning a 2-0 deficit to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2.

Die Kraichgauer were less than 10 minutes of normal time away from keeping a third clean sheet in four matches last time out against Freiburg, but Vincenzo Grifo's late penalty cancelled out Andrej Kramaric's first-half strike to earn a share of the spoils.

Hoeness will certainly be targeting a win against struggling Schalke to all but secure safety for his side, while earning revenge for the 4-0 defeat to them in January.

Schalke 04's Amine Harit celebrates scoring their fourth goal on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, that victory was Schalke's first in the league for almost an entire calendar year, but it did not bring about the dramatic upturn in form which would have been required for them to mount an escape from relegation.

The club have changed manager since then, too, with Dimitrios Grammozis only winning one of his seven matches in charge so far.

Any hopes of him adding to that tally last time out against Arminia Bielefeld were significantly damaged by Malick Thiaw's 71st-minute red card after Fabian Klos had already provided the opposition with a narrow lead 21 minutes beforehand.

Schalke's 2020-21 season has undoubtedly been one of the worst for any team in Bundesliga history, with only Tasmania Berlin's tally of 10 points in the 1965-66 season worse than Schalke's 13 so far, although they still have time to improve on that of course.

Realistically, it is all about building for life in the second tier of German football now, with the recent signing of experienced second-tier striker Simon Terodde from Hamburger SV certainly reflective of that.

Whether Grammozis is handed the opportunity to be the man to take Schalke back to the top flight may depend on how his side fares in their final four matches of the season.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Hoffenheim's Munas Dabbur celebrates scoring their first goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Hoffenheim's injury crisis shows little signs of easing up, with Hoeness sure to be hoping for much better luck on that front next campaign should he remain in charge.

Dennis Geiger, Ermin Bicakcic and Benjamin Hubner are all expected to miss the rest of the season, with Chris Richards and Stefan Posch facing a race against time to feature again in May having suffered hip injuries.

That leaves Hoeness with major holes to repair at the heart of his defence, with Kevin Vogt and Havard Nordtveit most likely to fill them.

Munas Dabbur is likely to be absent due to personal reasons, while Kostas Stafylidis, Sebastian Rudy and Marco John are all fitness doubts.

Schalke, meanwhile, will travel without Thiaw, Salif Sane and Benjamin Stambouli due to suspensions.

Like his counterpart Hoeness, that leaves Grammozis with a problem at centre-back. Timo Becker may line up alongside Shkodran Mustafi in a back four.

Grammozis has his own lengthy injury list to contend with, too, with Levent Mercan, Hamza Mendyl, Nabil Bentaleb, Nassim Boujellab, Matija Nastasic, Steven Skrzybski and Kilian Ludewig all doubts.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kaderabek, Vogt, Nordtveit, Sessegnon; Samassekou, Grillitsch; Skov, Kramaric, Adamyan; Bebou

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Aydin, Mustafi, Becker, Kolasinac; Serdar, Mascarell; Harit, Uth, Hoppe; Huntelaar


SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 3-1 Schalke 04

We expect Hoffenheim to put any lingering relegation concerns to bed with a win, although it may not come as easily as expected.

Both sides are missing several key defenders through injury and suspension, so the array of talented attackers on the pitch may well enjoy themselves.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Hoffenheim vs Schalke

Hoffenheim
77.4%
Draw
6.5%
Schalke 04
16.1%
31
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
4Wolfsburg341710761372461
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
9Stuttgart34129135655145
10Freiburg34129135252045
11Hoffenheim341110135254-243
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
13Augsburg34106183654-1836
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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