MX23RW : Monday, June 14 12:59:43| >> :600:1284203:1284203:
Nov 21, 2020 at 2.30pm UK at Veltins-Arena
SchalkeSchalke 04
0-2
WolfsburgWolfsburg
FT(HT: 0-2)
Weghorst (3'), Schlager (24')
Schlager (86')

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

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

Schalke 04 entertain Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts looking to move out of the relegation zone.

The visitors, meanwhile, are one of only two remaining unbeaten sides in the German top flight, winning last time out to move up to sixth in the table.


Match preview

Schalke 04 players celebrate Mark Uth's goal against Mainz on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Schalke were perhaps relieved to walk away from their crucial bottom of the table clash at Mainz 05 with a point prior to the international break, having twice trailed in the game.

Indeed, Manuel Baum's side conceded their fifth and sixth penalties of the season, with former Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic getting them off to a terrible start by standing on Jonathan Burkhardt's Achilles tendon in the penalty area. Daniel Brosinski duly dispatched the penalty, before Mark Uth restored parity in the game with an audacious free kick from the edge of the area which sailed into the top right corner.

However, Ozan Kabak was equally clumsy in giving away another penalty - his third conceded in three consecutive matches - after running into Jean-Philippe Mateta's path on the stroke of half time. The Mainz forward confidently scored the penalty to leave Schalke trailing heading into the interval, with Kabak looking like he had redeemed himself early in the second half when tapping into an empty net from a corner, but he was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Schalke avoided defeat - and consequently dropping to the bottom of the table - when Jeremiah St Juste inadvertently turned the ball into his own net from Steven Skrzybski's cross. Still awaiting their first league win of the season, Baum's side must kick on soon if they are to avoid being mired in a relegation battle all season long.

Wolfsburg manager Oliver Glasner pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Wolfsburg went into their last match against Hoffenheim with one win and five draws from their first six matches, so while remaining unbeaten was impressive, a win was very much required to get their season moving on a more upwards trajectory.

In truth, they were simultaneously deserved and fortunate victors in the 2-1 win. Swiss midfielder Renato Steffen was in superb form, continually making third man runs from midfield in behind a helpless Hoffenheim defence, with him calmly slotting the ball past Oliver Baumann to open the scoring. Steffen was at the heart of Wolfsburg doubling their lead, as another well-timed run led to his shot being saved, with the ball returning kindly to him as he teed up Wout Weghorst for the Dutch striker's sixth goal in five games against Sebastian Hoeness's side.

However, Weghorst's missed penalty in the 84th minute breathed new life into the visitors, who had only recorded their first shot on target in the match ten minutes prior. Sargis Adamyan set up a nervy finish when he fired into the roof of the net three minutes later, before Baumann caused chaos in the Wolfsburg penalty area after venturing up for an injury-time corner. It looked as though the goalkeeper had headed over at the near post, but replays showed a flailing Wolfsburg arm making contact with the ball and a penalty was correctly awarded.

It looked like being yet another draw for Oliver Glasner's side, but Koen Casteels made a superb save down to his right to deny Munas Dabbur and his former club a share of the points. Glasner will be hoping his side can use the dramatic victory as a platform to kick on in the coming weeks.

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: LLDLDD
Schalke 04 form (all competitions): LDLDWD

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: DDDWDW
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): LDDWDW


Team News

Schalke 04 manager Manuel Baum pictured on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Midfielder Alessandro Schopf suffered a calf injury in the draw against Mainz, while Baum remains without Suat Serdar due to a hamstring injury.

Otherwise the Schalke boss appears to have a clean bill of health, with summer signing Vedad Ibisevic vying for a return to the first XI.

Glasner is still without midfielder Joshua Guilavogui due to a torn muscle, with striker Daniel Ginczek doubtful due to back trouble.

The 46-year-old may be tempted to hand Admir Mehmedi a start given Schalke's defensive issues this season.

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Kabak, Sane, Nastasic; Ludewig, Oczipka, Mascareli, Harit, Skrzybski; Uth, Pacienca

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon; Schlager, Arnold; Mehmedi, Steffen, Brekalo; Weghorst


SM words green background

We say: Schalke 04 1-2 Wolfsburg

Schalke's results have improved of late, with three draws in their last four matches, so with Wolfsburg's propensity to tie games it would be little surprise to see another stalemate.

However, we think Wolfsburg can build on the dramatic victory over Hoffenheim and, if everything clicks as it did at times during that win, they could have a little too much for their opposition.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or 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.Home/Away:data


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Schalke 04's Ozan Kabak pictured in action in June 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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