Last Updated: 2018-01-12
The German Bundesliga continues this weekend which is the first round in 2018, and we picked one of the most intriguing clashes between Leipzig and Schalke. The game will be played at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, January 13th.
There are a few interesting matchups in this round and the clash between Leipzig and Schalke is surely among those as both teams are fighting for the Champions League places this season. Domenico Tedesco’s side in a much better form at the moment, and although the hosts are considered as favorites, Schalke has the quality to take three points here, so I have no doubts this encounter will produce plenty of excitement.
RB Leipzig vs. Schalke 04
Three-Way: 1: Leipzig +110; X: +239 Draw; 2: Schalke +260 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread -0.5: Leipzig +110; Schalke -143
Total 2.5 goals: Over -118; Under -105
The Red Bulls are without a win for over a month as they suffered three defeats and recorded a pair of draws in the previous five matches, while they are also out of the Champions League, but will participate in the Europa League. Qualifying for the next season’s UCL is the primary objective at Red Bull Arena, and Leipzig cannot afford to lose this game against the direct rival for the top four places. Ralph Hasenhüttl is worried about Naby Keita’s situation as Liverpool is trying to push his move to Anfield in January, despite the clubs’ arrangement that the Senegalese international joins the reds in the summer. If the gaffer doesn’t include Keita in the lineup for this one, Leipzig will almost surely lose their key man this month.
Leipzig played 25 games so far in the 2017/18, recording 11 victories, five draws, and nine losses, with a goal difference of 43:38, which is 3.25 goals per contest on average. When it comes to home matches, the Red Bulls didn’t taste a win in the previous three in which they conceded seven goals and scored five in return. That being said, we can expect to see goals on this one as Hasenhüttl’s side clearly has problems to keep their net intact at Red Bull Arena.
Timo Werner is the team’s top scorer with 12 goals in 23 appearances, while Naby Keita with five, Yussuf Poulsen, Jean-Kevin Augustin, Emil Forsberg, and Marcel Sabitzer contributed with four goals at the moment. Sabitzer is the most creative individual with seven assists to his name, while Poulsen has six dishes and these two players should create most of the chances for the hosts alongside Forsberg, so the visiting defense has the pay special attention to the trio. Ralph Hasenhüttl cannot count on Marcel Halstenberg who is recovering from a fractured hand, but the rest of the team is healthy and at the gaffer’s disposal for this clash.
The Royal Blues are in a fantastic form of 13 unbeaten matches and this great run sent them to the 2nd spot in Bundesliga with 30 points, two more than Leipzig but 11 behind the league leaders Bayern Munich. While the Bavarians are huge favorites to clinch another title and Schalke doesn’t have big chances to get into the mix, Domenico Tedesco’s side is in a strong position to secure one of the Champions League places. The atmosphere is excellent in the locker room and they are optimistic to get a positive result on Saturday, so I am sure the Miners will pick up where they left off before the winter break.
Schalke played 20 games in this campaign, recording 11 victories, six draws, and three losses, with a goal difference of 34:22, which is 2.8 goals per contest on average. The Royal Blues drew the last three away matches in the Bundesliga, but they didn’t suffer a defeat in the previous six, scoring in each of those tilts, keeping the clean sheet on just one occasion.
Guido Burgstaller is the team’s leading scorer with eight goals in 19 appearances, while Leon Goretzka, Daniel Caligiuri, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Naldo, Franco Di Santo, and Nabil Bentaleb combined for 16 goals thus far. The youngster Amine Harit is the best assist-maker with six dishes to his name; Burgstaller added five, while Konoplyanka and Bastian Oczipka recorded four assists apiece. Domenico Tedesco is without Pablo Insua who is dealing with a ribs injury, but other players are healthy and raring to go.
Leipzig vs. Schalke – Betting Trends and Match Prediction
- Both teams scored in Leipzig’s last four matches
- Both teams scored in Schalke’s five out of the previous six games
- Leipzig scored in each of this season’s games at home
- Schalke scored at least a goal in the past six away matches
These teams met three times since Leipzig joined the Bundesliga two seasons ago, and two out of those three encounters finished with goals on both ends. Although the previous clash ended 2-0 for Schalke, I don’t think it will be the case here as the hosts are allowing plenty of goals recently but they’re also scoring a reasonable amount, so I am backing BTTS on this one.
MY PICK: Both teams to score YES (-143)
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