Schalke 04 vs Bayer Leverkusen
VELTINS Arena, Gelsenkirchen
Sunday, 14-06-2020 @7pm
Despite progressing through to the German Cup final in midweek, Bayer Leverkusen have been left with work to do in order to claim a top-four spot in the Bundesliga.
Although succumbing to Bayern Munich was expected by most, Peter Bosz knows that his side are now under pressure to avoid a third defeat in four league matches.
However, aware that nearest rivals Borussia Monchengladbach face Bayern on Saturday, there will be a feeling that beating Schalke could put the club within touching distance of Champions League football.
Having missed the setback against the league leaders, Kai Havertz will be motivated to get back on the goal trail having netted five times since the resumption of the division.
Bosz and his players will also have their sights set on a sixth successive away win in all competitions, a run stretching back to March 1.
From Schalke’s perspective, there would have been relief within their ranks after claiming a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Union Berlin last weekend.
David Wagner remains under severe pressure to keep his job in the dugout, but earning a share of the spoils in Germany’s capital represented Schalke’s first point since before the coronavirus pandemic.
With survival in the top flight effectively guaranteed, Wagner and his players can play with a sense of freedom on Sunday as they look to improve on 10th position.
That said, at a time when 12 goals have been conceded in six matches, Wagner knows that another heavy defeat may lead to the club’s hierarchy opting for a managerial change ahead of next season.
Wagner is able to welcome back Weston McKennie after the midfielder missed the trip to Berlin through suspension. However, Schalke will be without Guido Burgstaller, Amine Harit, Suat Serdar and Omar Mascarell, all through injury. Benito Raman is expected to lead the line after overcoming a muscle issue which led to his substitution last weekend.
As well as having Havertz back in contention, Bosz may be ready to hand Kevin Volland his first start since overcoming a knee injury. Jonathan Tah will be assessed nearer to kickoff after suffering with a back problem, while Paulinho is pushing for a recall after setting up Leverkusen’s second goal against Bayern.
The other Bundesliga games this weekend
-Mainz vs Augsburg @4:30pm
Results, Friday, 12-06-2020
-Hoffenheim 0-2 Leipzig
-Dusseldorf 0-1 Dortmund
-Wolfsburg 2-2 Freiburg
-Koln 1-2 Union Berlin
-Hertha Berlin 1-4 Frankfurt
-Paderbon 1-5 Bremen
-Bayern 2-1 Monchengladbach