Schalke 04 – Bayer Leverkusen
The Saturday conference in the Bundesliga finally offers five games again this weekend. An exciting duel on this 26th matchday will take place in the Ruhr area. The recently reinvigorated Knappen receive the Bayern defeat of the previous week in their home stadium. Both teams are currently on a strong run in the league. Find out who will get the next three points on Saturday in our Schalke – Leverkusen betting tips.
After the first half of the season, FC Schalke 04 looked like a certain relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga. The Knappen occupied the last place in the league for a long period of time. However, S04 played like a changed team in the second half of the season. The Königsblauen did not lose any of the last eight Bundesliga games. Before the international break, Schalke fought their way to a late 1:1 against FC Augsburg.
Their rivals from Leverkusen actually wanted to return to the Champions League before the season. However, the Werkself did not play a good first half of the season and was stuck in mid-table for a long time. Recently, however, the team of coach Xabi Alonso strengthened again. On the last matchday, Bayer even defeated FC Bayern and thus caused the dismissal of coach Nagelsmann.
Schalke – Leverkusen info:
– Date & Time: 01.04.2023, 15:30 hrs.
– Venue: VELTINS-Arena, Gelsenkirchen
– Competition: Bundesliga, Matchday 26
– TV broadcast: Sky
Schalke Form & Balance Check
The Knappen made a promising start to the season, conceding just two defeats in their first six Bundesliga games. But then followed a series of seven consecutive defeats, which sent the team back to last place in the league at the end of the year. At that point, Schalke had only nine points on their account.
The misery continued in the new year before a turn for the better came under the leadership of coach Thomas Reis. In the week before last, Schalke managed a late 1-1 draw against FC Augsburg. In the meantime, the Knappen are unbeaten for eight games and are in second-last place in the table.
Schalker defensive miracle
The goal conceded by Arne Maier in the match against Augsburg was only the fourth goal conceded by the Knappen in the second half of the season. This makes Schalke the best defensive team in the Bundesliga second half. In the meantime, the Schalke defence has been transformed. The team from Gelsenkirchen conceded an average of only 0.5 goals per game in the second half of the season. A clear improvement compared to the first half of the season, when S04 conceded an average of 2.41 goals per game.
Moritz Jenz in particular is proving to be a real rock in the fire and is stabilising the Schalke defence enormously. The Berlin-born centre-back arrived on loan from French club Lorient in January and has since integrated seamlessly into the team. Together with Maya Yoshida he currently forms one of the best defensive duos in the Bundesliga.
Schalke facts & analysis
– No defeat for eight games in the league.
– Worst offensive performance in the league
– One point behind Hoffenheim in 15th
Leverkusen form & balance check
Since Xabi Alonso took over as head coach on matchday nine, Bayer Leverkusen have been on a real upswing. Although there have also been setbacks, the team from the Rhineland is showing positive development. The Werkself remained unbeaten in four consecutive league games and even defeated FC Bayern 2-1 a fortnight ago, so Leverkusen was probably the decisive trigger for Nagelsmann’s dismissal.
The players from the Bayerkreuz have thus reduced the gap to the European places in the league. Leverkusen are currently in eighth place in the league and are only three points behind Frankfurt in sixth place. Furthermore, things are also going well for Leverkusen in the Europa League, as the Werkself recently advanced to the quarter-finals against Ferencváros Budapest.
Bayers offensive strength
Under the guidance of coach Xabi Alonso, a tried and tested system has now been established and the preferred personnel is set. Only Adam Hlozek, Florian Wirtz and Sardar Azmoun regularly rotate up front. With 45 goals, the Werkself once again has the fourth-best offence in the Bundesliga.
In addition to Moussa Diaby and Jeremie Frimpong, who have been playing extremely well all season, Amine Adli has also been pushing into the limelight recently. Against Bayern, the young Frenchman scored two penalties and outpaced the defence of the record champions on one or two occasions.
Leverkusen facts & analysis
– In eighth place in the Bundesliga table.
– Without defeat for seven competitive games
– Fourth best offense in the league
Predicted line-up – last update on 30 March 2023
Again expect FC Schalke 04 to play in a 4-3-3 against the Werkself, with Bülter again providing goal threat down the left. Yoshida and Jenz should once again leave little to be desired in central defence. Even though the Knappen’s medical staff is slowly getting better, some potential regulars will still be missing against Leverkusen.
Coach Xabi Alonso established the 3-4-3 as the system at Werkself. We expect Diaby, Wirtz and Adli up front again. Double goal scorer Palacios will hope for his next goal against S04. Patrik Schick, however, will miss Leverkusen in attack for a few more weeks.
Schalke – Leverkusen direct comparison & statistics
There have been 90 encounters between the two teams in official matches. The balance is currently in favour of Bayer 04, with the Werkself having recorded 37 victories so far, while Schalke have only won 27 times. In the first leg at the BayArena, Leverkusen kept the upper hand and won 4:0 against the Knappen.
– Both teams are separated by 16 points in the league.
– Schalke’s last home win against Leverkusen was on 31/08/2013.
– Both stadiums are only 57 kilometres apart.
– When Schalke 04 lead 1-0 in home matches, they win 71% of the games
– Leverkusen have always scored in their last six Bundesliga matches