Bayern Munich will host relegation-threatened FC Schalke 04 as they look to retain their top spot in the Bundesliga.
League leaders Bayern Munich are all set to host FC Schalke 04, who are fighting for survival in the German top flight. The home team will head into this encounter hoping to maintain their one-point lead in the title race. On the other hand, the visitors will hope to stay out of the drop zone with a positive result against the German giants.
Thomas Tuchel’s start as Bayern Munich manager has been somewhat rocky, with four wins, two draws and three losses since replacing Julian Nagelsmann. However, with three matches left in the season, Bayern are still in the running to clinch their 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.
After a surprising loss to Mainz, Bayern recovered with a 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin and a 2-1 win against Werder Bremen, keeping them unbeaten at home this season with 10 wins and five draws in 15 games.
Bayern have also won five of their last six home league matches, scoring 18 goals in the process, and they will be confident in their ability to defeat relegation-threatened Schalke in their upcoming match. Meanwhile, Schalke 04 have had a tough season, spending most of it in the relegation zone and sitting at the bottom of the table between October and February.
However, they have experienced a recent resurgence, winning three of their last four matches after a run of 11 defeats in 12 games. They secured crucial victories over relegation rivals VfB Stuttgart and VfL Bochum during their eight-game unbeaten streak between January and March.
Though they suffered heavy losses to Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim, Schalke returned to form with a 5-2 victory over Hertha Berlin. Despite only securing four wins across their first 27 Bundesliga games this season, they have created a gap between them and the bottom three with their recent form. While their position is still precarious, they will be hopeful of avoiding relegation after their recent performances. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics they could use.
Team News & Tactics
The league leaders will be without the services of Josip Stanisic, Alphonso Davies, Paul Wanner, Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer who are all out injured. Meanwhile, Dayot Upamecano and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are still doubtful for this fixture.
🗣️ Tuchel: "It's about finding an XI that works well together & fits to the opponent. Every player that comes off the bench needs to bring fresh energy with them, so that we're able to achieve our goal of winning the title. We're fully focused on the final three games."#FCBS04 pic.twitter.com/N1a8zGV9vY
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) May 12, 2023
Tuchel is excepted to go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation, where Yann Sommer will be in goal. Noussair Mazraoui and João Cancelo will be the full-backs. Benjamin Pavard and Matthijs de Ligt will start in the heart of the defence. Meanwhile, Joshua Kimmich will pair up with Leon Goretzka in the centre of the park.
Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman will start out wide as the wingers. The duo won’t just look to provide the width, they will also try to cut inside whenever the opportunity arises. The 20-year-old sensation Jamal Musiala will start as the attacking midfielder. And, former Liverpool star Sadio Mane will lead the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Mazraoui, Pavard, De Ligt, Cancelo; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Musiala, Coman; Mane
FC Schalke 04
The visitors will be without the services of Eder Balanta, Ralf Fahrmann, Justin Keekeren and Soichiro Kozuki, who are all out injured. Meanwhile, Moritz Jenz is still a doubt for this fixture.
Keeping our eyes on the target 👀🎯
🔜 #FCBS04 🔥#S04 | #FCBS04 pic.twitter.com/I2by4ddQlo
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) May 12, 2023
Apart from the above-mentioned names, everyone else is available for selection and Thomas Reis is expected to go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Alexander Schwolow should start as the goalkeeper. Henning Matriciani and Cedric Brunner will be the full-backs. Sepp van den Berg and Marcin Kaminski will start in the heart of the defence. The back four will have the tough task of stopping a star-studded Bayern Munich attack.
Alex Kral and Tom Krauß will start as the double pivots in the centre of the park. Marius Bulter and Kenan Karaman will look to provide the much-needed width to the team. Meanwhile, Rodrigo Zalazar will be the attacking midfielder. Simon Terodde will lead the attack as they look to pull off an upset against the league leaders.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schwolow; Brunner, van den Berg, Kaminski, Matriciani; Krauß, Kral; Karaman, Zalazar, Bulter; Terodde
- Since Thomas Tuchel took charge, Bayern have scored a goal every 40 minutes with Thomas Müller playing. Without him, they have had the same amount of success.
- Bayern Munich have a strong record against Schalke, winning all of their last nine league meetings.
- Bayern are in a familiar position, sitting on top of the Bundesliga table with a one-point lead and just three games remaining.
- Schalke have recently shown an upturn in form, collecting 21 points in the second half of the season, and currently sit outside the relegation zone.
- Bayern Munich have a good record against newly-promoted teams in the Bundesliga, losing only one of their last 22 games against them.
Player to Watch
Jamal Musiala’s incredible stats in the ongoing Bundesliga season speak volumes about his talent and potential as a footballer. The 20-year-old has been a revelation for Bayern Munich, proving to be a key player in their title charge with his performances in midfield.
He has shown an incredible ability to both score and assist goals, demonstrating his skill and composure in front of the goal. The German international has been involved in 22 goals in the ongoing Bundesliga season. And, Tuchel will hope Musiala comes good once again as they look to keep hold of the top spot in the league.
Bayern Munich 2-0 FC Schalke 04
Bayern Munich will enter the match as clear favourites, given their dominant record over Schalke in recent years and their strong home form. They will be looking to continue their unbeaten run at home this season and secure another victory in their quest to clinch their 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.
Meanwhile, Schalke will be determined to build on their recent resurgence and earn at least a point to boost their chances of avoiding relegation. While they may struggle against Bayern’s attacking firepower, Schalke will hope to make the most of any opportunities that come their way and cause an upset. But they might still come out short given the strength of the opposition. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for the home team.
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