Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich aim to extend the gap at they take on bottom-placed Schalke 04 who seek to escape the relegation zone.
Like any other league, the Bundesliga is set to break for the World Cup after this weekend. There are contrasting fortunes at stake ahead of the final matchday, with Schalke, in particular, looking out for a positive result. After ending a seven-game losing run by beating Mainz last time out, the newcomers face the prospect of facing their toughest fixture.
Schalke hosts league leaders Bayern Munich at the weekend. Once, this was a formidable clash, but the home side’s recent slip and relegation have pinned them as a weaker side in Germany. Yet, their solitary season in the Bundesliga 2 resulted in a title win and a swift return to the top flight.
💬 Thomas Reis: "We gave it absolutely everything against Mainz – which is what I expected. There were a couple of injuries there, but everyone is now ready to play."#S04 | #S04FCB pic.twitter.com/8oa5y3MzjY
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) November 11, 2022
A win at the weekend would lift Thomas Reis’s side out of the bottom two, albeit for some time, depending on other results. On a positive note, Schalke put on a good defensive show, restricting Mainz to only a single shot on target, which would boost their confidence ahead of facing Bayern.
Bayern Munich aims to run rule over newly promoted clubs once more. Having demolished Werder Bremen earlier this week, Julian Nagelsmann will seek Schalke’s scrap and head into the World Cup break on a high note. The Bavarians will be more concerned about extending the points gap at the top, and a win would be the ideal result.
Earlier in the week against Bremen, Bayern scored six times and proved no match for their opponents. The victory came at a cost, as Sadio Mane was taken off with a fibula injury. The forward’s hopes of featuring for Senegal at the World Cup this month are slim.
On a positive note, current title rivals Union Berlin dropped more points during midweek, managing a draw. Bayern now leads their rivals by four points and will hope to extend it even further with a win over Schalke. Nagelsmann hopes the World Cup is kind to Bayern, as most of their players jet off to Qatar.
Team News & Tactics
Thomas Reis is missing several players for the home game against Bayern. Ralf Fahrmann, Thomas Ouwejan, Leo Greiml, Rodrigo Zalazar, Sepp van den Berg, Ibrahima Cisse, and Marcin Kaminski will remain sidelined for the weekend’s clash.
💬 Reis on potential transfers: "Of course we are thinking about how we can strengthen the team. We're talking to Peter Knäbel, and some injured players are continuing to return – but for now, our only focus is the last game of the year."#S04 | #S04FCB pic.twitter.com/2FbSdkINVQ
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) November 11, 2022
Meanwhile, there are also concerns with Simon Terodde, who withdrew against Mainz with a knock. The striker could return to fitness for the Bayern game and lead the line for Schalke.
Thomas Reis will look to keep the team’s style on a more defensive style. At the back, Alexander Schwolow is the preferred choice between the sticks with a back four ahead of him. Tobias Mohr, Henning Matriciani, Maya Yoshida, and Cedric Brunner will take their places from right to left.
A five-man midfield could be in place against Bayern. Dominick Drexler and Florent Mollet will play on the wings. In the centre, Alex Kral will stay in the holding role, with Tom Krauss and Marius Bulter on either side. Up front, Terodde will play the lone striker’s role.
Probable Lineup (4-5-1) – Schwolow; Mohr, Matriciani, Yoshida, Brunner; Drexler, Krauss, Kral, Bulter, Mollet; Terodde
Nagelsmann has concerns about injuries and at least has one player out with illness. Josip Stanisic is out of contention with tonsillitis. The big blow would be that of Mane, who suffered a fibula injury against Bremen.
🗣️ @J__Nagelsmann on @s04_en: "Schalke are now much more active out of possession and from my perspective, they are coming into form at the wrong time. I am looking forward to tomorrow's game in a great stadium with a great atmosphere. It will be tough."#packmas #S04FCB pic.twitter.com/nxM0z8csB6
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) November 11, 2022
The Senegal international is a major doubt for the World Cup. Alphonso Davies remains out of contention with a muscular injury, although he could return to full fitness before the Qatar tournament. Bayern will not risk Thomas Muller before the break, as the veteran has a muscular problem.
Matthijs de Ligt is also nearing a return from a knee injury, which would keep him out of the Schalke clash. Yet, Nagelsmann has a solid squad to contend with those absentees. French trio Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard, and Lucas Hernandez are set to feature at the back, with Noussair Mazraoui at right-back.
Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are the preferred outlets in central midfield, while Jamal Musiala will play in the No.10 role. Leroy Sane could replace Mane on the left wing, while Serge Gnabry could play on the right. Erik Chuopo-Moting will lead the line against Schalke.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) – Neuer; Mazraoui, Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Musiala, Sane; Chuopo Moting
- Schalke will exit the relegation zone with a win over Bayern.
- Bayern have won their last 10 matches against Schalke in all competitions.
- Bayern have kept a clean sheet in their last 6 away matches against Schalke in all competitions.
- Bayern have scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 matches in the Bundesliga.
- Bayern have scored at least 3 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches against Schalke in all competitions.
Player to Watch
— Jamal Musiala (@JamalMusiala) November 10, 2022
The rising star of German football is hitting the right form just before the World Cup. Having seen his name in Hansi Flick’s squad, the youngster will be more than pumped to continue his recent scoring record. The 19-year-old Bayern star has scored in each of the last four Bundesliga games and will be eager to make it five.
His form is instrumental in Bayern’s good work in the attack. All eyes will be on Musiala not only against Schalke but at the World Cup as well. He will remain in the team, make another impactful display for the Bavarians, and then head to Qatar to help Germany reclaim the World title.
Schalke 1-4 Bayern Munich
It’s always difficult to predict how many goals a team might score, but Bayern lives on patterns. The Bavarians tend to build momentum and put together a string of high-scoring games. After demolishing Bremen, the Schalke clash might have come at the right time for Nagelsmann’s side.
Hence, Bayern could put at least 3-4 goals past Schalke at the weekend. The home side could be on the scoresheet during the clash, but the Bavarians are the overwhelming favourites to finish on a high note before the World Cup break.