FC Schalke 04 vs 1899 Hoffenheim
Germany – Bundesliga
Date: Saturday, 7 March 2020
Kick-off at 14:30 UK / 15:30 CET
Venue: VELTINS-Arena (Gelsenkirchen)
Two out-of-form teams lock horns at VELTINS-Arena on Saturday lunchtime, searching for a win to propel them to turn their seasons around and keep their pace in Europa League race.
Despite a strong showing against the reigning champions, the Royal Blues’ DFB-Pokal campaign is over after a 1-0 defeat at home to Bayern on Tuesday evening with Joshua Kimmich hitting the target for the Bavarian giants.
Another day, another defeat for David Wagner’s side as their woeful streak continues; since the closing days of January and 5-0 drubbing they’ve suffered at the hands of Bayern Munich, the Royal Blues managed three draws and two consecutive league defeats, with the latest being 3-0 spanking away at Cologne which somehow still kept them at 6th place, with Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim being awfully close…
Schalke 04 had a fantastic run in front of their own fans, an unbeaten ten-games streak (5 W, 5 D) that started back in August and lasted till February 22nd as the Blues crashed and burned, losing 0-5 to title chasing Leipzig’s Red Bulls.
Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich played out one of the most bizarre conclusions in the history of football; Bayern were 6-0 up when their travelling fans unfolded an offensive banner about Hoffenheim president, forcing the referee to lead the players down the tunnel before they’ve returned and passed the ball between each other for remaining 13 minutes.
Recent behind the scenes troubles are just a sour cherry on top for Alfred Schreuder’s men, who lately went on a four-game winless run, losing three games in the process which allowed Wolfsburg to leapfrog them and push them out of Europa League spots, down to 8th place on Bundesliga ladder.
Achtzehn99 do their best work on the side; loss at Freiburg one month ago was first of that kind in 2020 and only second since the beginning of the season with Hoff getting back on track in the next game with a point stolen off the most hostile ground in Germany (Monchengladbach’s Borussia Park).
Ozan Kabak is latest addition to Schalke’s injury report, a list which already contains Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell, Juan Miranda and Daniel Caligiuri with Salif Sané and Benjamin Stambouli still deemed unfit for return on the green carpet.
Schreuder has fewer selection issues, with Munas Dabbur and Sargis Adamyan, including permanently injured Ishak Belfodil set to miss Hoffenheim’s trip to Gelsenkirchen.
Schalke vs Hoffenheim: Head-to-head (h2h)
- Overall Stats (24 games): FC Schalke 8 wins, 6 draws, 1899 Hoffenheim 10 wins.
- Schalke 04 have 7-1-4 record at home versus achtzehn99.
- Hoffenheim got their second consecutive win over the Royal Blues last October, winning 2-0 in Sinsheim.
- Europa League hopefuls are currently on a three-game unbeaten run v Schalke 04.
- They were first on the scoresheet in four of their last five h2h meetings.
- The Royal Blues failed to keep a clean sheet last eight times they’ve played Hoffenheim.
- Both teams have scored in six of their last eight encounters.
Schalke vs Hoffenheim: Prediction
Schalke at home isn’t the most exciting side to watch, with their matches usually being close, tight knit, most often than not really drab affairs (their latest humiliation by Leipzig aside) and since they’re facing similarly minded away team, it’s more likely we’ll be seeing a chess game rather than a usual German brand of football.
All things considering, poor form of the Gelsenkirchen’s Royal Blues, their midweek DFL Pokal game, weak recent record against Achtzehn99, injuries…
Because of all that, I’m more willing to put my eggs in Hoffenheim’s basket for this one. With all the drama surrounding them put aside, they’re really capable team
With fresher set of legs and a knack for playing on the road so against such disoriented and demoralized opponents like Schalke 04, they should be able to prevail.
Schalke vs Hoffenheim: Betting tips
Under 3 goals @ 1.71
Hoffenheim Draw No Bet @ 2.38.