RB Leipzig have nothing to play for on the final matchday of the season, but Schalke will have one last chance to survive the relegation.

Marco Rose will have mixed feelings ahead of the last day of the season against Schalke, having steered RB Leipzig to a third-placed finish. Die Roten Bullen’s heroics last weekend against Bayern tilted the title race in Rose’s former side, Borussia Dortmund’s favour, with the race going down the wire on the final matchday.

Serge Gnabry scored, and it appeared Bayern had the momentum before Leipzig turned the game on its head. Konrad Laimer’s equaliser was followed by goals from Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai, ensuring the Bavarians will go into the last matchday as second-favourites for the Bundesliga crown.

As things stand, neither can Leipzig finish second nor can SC Freiburg or Union Berlin overtake them. From Rose’s perspective, this is a dead rubber, but their opponents, Schalke, come here to fight for their future and somehow avoid relegation.

A series of good results and bad in the last few games have kept Schalke in a difficult position heading into the final matchday. They currently sit in the 17th spot and a point below VfB Stuttgart and VfL Bochum, who are level on points.

While Schalke will hope to get a sensational win over Leipzig, their fate will also depend on their rivals losing ground. A draw or loss for Stuttgart and Bochum will improve their chances. But things are already left to fate and luck.

A draw would only move Schalke outside the automatic relegation positions and into the relegation playoff spot if Bochum lost to Leverkusen. To move out of the bottom three positions and survive the ordeal altogether, Schalke must win and hope that neither Stuttgart nor Bochum does.

Team News & Tactics

RB Leipzig

Marco Rose has to decide whether to go with a strong lineup against Schalke or preserve many of his key stars for the cup final. There is the element of resting key stars. But momentum will also seem important for the manager while looking to finish the league season strongly.

He could also use players to build their fitness ahead of the cup final. For instance, there are doubts about Timo Werner. But if he proves his fitness, the forward could lead the line.

Rose could go strong in selecting his other attackers, with Christopher Nkunku likely to play in the attacking midfield role. Dani Olmo and the in-demand Dominik Szoboszlai will provide the width from the wings, while Amadou Haidara and Konrad Laimer will provide the base from midfield.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Blaswich; Henrichs, Orban, Klostermann, Halsterberg; Laimer, Haidara; Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Olmo; Werner


Moritz Jenz and Simon Terodde will miss the season’s final game through suspension. Their cautions against Eintracht Frankfurt will come at a cost for the away side; There are also doubts cast on Ralf Fahrmann and Eder Balanta’s involvements. The former could yet start if he can prove his fitness.

Soichiro Kazuki is also out with an ankle problem, while Justin Heekeren remains sidelined for the longer term with an ACL injury. Marcin Kaminski could slot in the Schalke backline, and Sepp van den Berg is a partner in central defence.

Schalke will likely spread play in midfield with a five-man unit there. Alex Kral will sit at the base, supported by Dominick Drexler and Tom Krauss on either side. Sebastian Polter will certainly lead the line for the visitors.

Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Fahrmann; Matriciani, Berg, Kaminski, Brunner; Zalazar, Drexler, Kral, Krauss, Bulter; Polter

Key Stats

  • RB Leipzig have scored at least three goals in their last four matches against Schalke 04 in all competitions.
  • RB Leipzig have won 12 times on home soil this season.
  • RB Leipzig have been winning at both half-time and full-time in their last four matches against Schalke 04 in all competitions.
  • Leipzig won the reverse fixture against Schalke with a 1-6 scoreline.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Schalke 04’s last six games in the Bundesliga.

Player to Watch

Christopher Nkunku

The DFB-Pokal game will be the final time Christopher Nkunku will play for Leipzig. But before that, he will lead the charge in his last Bundesliga game for a long time. A reported impending move to Chelsea waits for the Frenchman in the summer, but he can finish on a high note in front of the home crowd.

Nkunku can destroy Schalke’s hopes of remaining in the Bundesliga and show Chelsea what they are getting in return for the money they are spending. Fans will likely show gratitude for the Frenchma’s service, as they must have thoroughly enjoyed his terrific attacking display during his time at the club.


RB Leipzig 3-1 Schalke

Leipzig are too good on paper compared to Schalke. In the Bundesliga, Marco Rose’s side may not have anything else to achieve this season. But the manager will demand the team finishes the season strongly. Hence, the home side could line up strongly and kill any hopes left for Schalke.

Schalke supporters will certainly hope Leipzig field a weakened team considering the home side still have the DFB Pokal Final to contest. However, this may seem like a one-sided contest, with Leipzig taking the three points to send the visitors back to Bundesliga.2.

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