MX23RW : Monday, June 14 07:51:44| >> :600:1265724:1265724:
Feb 6, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Veltins-Arena
SchalkeSchalke 04
0-3
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig

Mascarell (27'), Kolasinac (69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mukiele (45+3'), Sabitzer (73'), Orban (87')
Sabitzer (82')

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

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

Schalke 04 host RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts needing a win to have any chance of moving off the bottom of the table.

Leipzig, meanwhile, must win in order to keep their slim hopes of catching league leaders Bayern Munich alive.


Match preview

Schalke 04 coach Christian Gross pictured on January 24, 2021© Reuters

Schalke managed to end a run of three consecutive defeats with a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen last weekend, but Christian Gross's side need wins on the board and fast if they are going to execute one of Europe's greatest ever escapes from relegation.

The Bundesliga's worst performing side have certainly looked a slicker outfit since Gross took charge, though, with Omar Mascarell capping off a fine team move with a nicely-placed finish from the edge of the area. Unsurprisingly, Armine Harit was at the heart of almost everything positive Schalke produced on the day, with Matthew Hoppe spurning an early chance.

However, Bremen made three substitutions at half time and improved immeasurably as a result, with two of them combining for the equaliser when Milot Rashica teed up Kevin Mohwald. Maximilian Eggestein thought he had won it with only minutes remaining, only for Theodor Gebre Selassie to be correctly adjudged to have been offside in the build-up.

Gross's hopes of delivering a trophy came to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday, too, but the defeat does at least allow him to fully concentrate on overseeing a miraculous survival in the league.

RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano celebrates in October 2020© Reuters

Leipzig, meanwhile, comfortably overcame Bayer Leverkusen last weekend, with the 1-0 scoreline flattering the visitors on the day.

Florian Wirtz and Lucas Alario did come close to scoring on a couple of occasions, but Leipzig certainly should have had more goals themselves in a controlled performance. Marcel Sabitzer's early effort was correctly disallowed for an offside, with Christopher Nkunku smashing Julian Nagelsmann's ahead after half time with a superb first touch teeing up his accurate strike into the top corner.

Alexander Sorloth later struck the post, with Dani Olmo narrowly missing the rebound, but Leipzig held on for a win which just about keeps them in the hunt for their first ever Bundesliga title.

A more likely trophy for them this season may well be the DFB-Pokal, with Wednesday's 4-0 win over VfL Bochum taking Leipzig into the quarter-final. After losing 3-0 to Bayern in the 2019 final, Nagelsmann would surely revel in delivering Leipzig's first ever major trophy to the club.

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: LWLLLD
Schalke 04 form (all competitions): WLLLDL

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form: WLDWLW
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): LDWLWW


Team News

Borussia Dortmund's Giovanni Reyna in action with RB Leipzig's Kevin Kampl in the Bundesliga on June 20, 2020© Reuters

Schalke are still missing a whole host of players through injury, with Can Bozdogan, Suat Serdar, Frederik Ronnow, Steven Skrzybski, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane and Goncalo Pacienca all unavailable.

Nabil Bentaleb is still effectively persona non grata at the club after his disciplinary issues in November, with Shkodran Mustafi perhaps having to wait for his first start having joined from Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

Leipzig, meanwhile, will travel to Schalke without Kevin Kampl, Dominik Szoboszlai, Emil Forsberg, Ibrahima Konate, Benjamin Henrichs and Konrad Laimer due to injury.

Nagelsmann is likely to shuffle the pack once more, with Yussuf Poulsen pushing for a start after his brace in the cup in midweek.

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Becker, Thiaw, Nastasic, Kolasinac; Mascarell, Stambouli; Schopf, Uth, Harit; Hoppe

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Mukiele, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Adams, Sabitzer, Haidara, Angelino; Olmo, Nkunku; Sorloth


SM words green background

We say: Schalke 04 0-2 RB Leipzig

Given that Leipzig have the tightest defence in the Bundesliga, it is difficult to envisage Schalke threatening Nagelsmann's side on too many occasions.

Leipzig should control the game almost from start to finish as they look to keep the pressure on Bayern.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away 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.Away Win:data


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Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi pictured in October 2020
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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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