Schalke 04 vs RB Leipzig
It will be a very busy weekend once more here in the Bundesliga, and one of the games to look out for is between Schalke and RB Leipzig for their reverse fixture.
These two sides have already met last September where Schalke shocked RB Leipzig with a 3-1 tally, preventing them to fully break away from the pack. But a lot has changed since then.
RB Leipzig along with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Bayer Leverkusen are currently on a tight five-way race for the Bundesliga championship, while Schalke are clinging on to the final Europa League spot as they are the sixth-seeded team.
At this juncture of the Bundesliga season, anything can happen. So this match will be crucial for both of these sides as they try to gain more traction in the standings.
In today’s preview, let’s examine some talking points to get a glimpse on how they would fare this Sunday.
Schalke have been underwhelming
Die Knappen sank to the sixth spot at the table because of a couple of lacklustre performances lately. Since the end of January, Schalke were hammered by Bayern Munich and they failed to put away the likes of Hertha BSC, Paderborn, and Mainz.
Scoring goals had been a problem for Schalke since they’ve only registered one goal in their last four matches. At the same time, their goal keeper problems previously didn’t help either.
Good thing for them that Alexander Nubel is back in the lineup after serving his suspension and their top guns in Amine Harit, Benito Raman, and Suat Serdar should find their attacking form.
The trio has accounted for 17 goals and seven assists for Schalke so far this season, so it’s fair to say that they have ample firepower out front.
Moreover, their defence needs to step up more than ever in order to prevent the Red Bulls from getting their away all night. They are currently third overall on that end as they’ve given up only 27 goals so far this term.
Jonjoe Kenny, Ozan Kabak, and Weston McKennie will be the captains at the back for David Wagner, while Daniel Caligiuri and Bastian Oczipka are versatile full-backs that can help either at the back or sometimes at the attack when the opportunity presents itself.
The Royal Blues are one of the teams who have beaten the streaking Red Bulls this season, and they may need to watch the film of their previous matchup in order to find what worked and use it this weekend.
RB Leipzig faces a tough stretch
The Red Bulls will continue their travails facing some of the top teams in Europe over these next few weeks.
They started off February drawing level against the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich. Then they survived a close match against Tottenham in the ongoing Champions League just yesterday.
After Schalke this weekend, RB Leipzig will face another elite club in Bayer Leverkusen before clashing with Tottenham once more.
Timo Werner continues to carry the load for RB Leipzig in their campaign. The 23-year-old sensation has already produced a handful of Bundesliga 2020 highlights by accounting for 38-per cent of the team’s 56 Bundesliga goals this season, and that trend won’t change any time soon.
He fits very well to Julian Nagelsmann’s full-throttle attack. Werner has formed a strong partnership with the likes of Marcel Sabitzer, Christopher Nkunku and Patrik Schick, making them one of the more dangerous attacking combos in the league.
RB Leipzig are by no means infallible, as they’ve struggled against some bottom-tier teams in the Bundesliga. They experienced defeats against Eintracht Frankfurt for some reason, while they survived quite a scare against Paderborn in their November matchup.
With Bayern Munich creeping up to the top, RB Leipzig could not afford any slip-ups if they plan on winning it all this season. This tough stretch that they’re currently on should be the perfect gauge on whether they are contenders or pretenders.
RB Leipzig hold a slim edge in their head-to-head matchups against Schalke. They have won thrice while Schalke have won twice along with two draws.
The David Wagner-mentored squad is on a four-game winless run and they are aching to finally get a win. Only Fortuna Dusseldorf and Werder Bremen are in the same boat as them as of this writing.
Schalke have been undefeated in their last 10 Bundesliga home matches (W5, D5).
|Schalke 04 vs RB Leipzig||Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.98|
|February 23, 1:30(GMT+8)|
The Bundesliga 2020 odds have RB Leipzig as the victors at 1.82. Schalke are at 3.80 while a draw is placed at 3.90 in the 1×2 market.
This fixture has the potential to be a high-scoring showdown so Total Goals 2-3 @1.98 is a great possibility for SBOTOP bettors, especially with Werner and Harit on the field at the same time.
This figures to be a classic chess match between David Wagner and Julian Nagelsmann. Schalke may have gotten the upper hand in the first go-around, but we will see come Sunday if RB Leipzig can exact their revenge.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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