Schalke 04 will look to snap out of their terrible run of form when they welcome Union Berlin to the Veltins-Arena on Sunday evening.
The Royal Blues relieved manager David Wagner of his duties two weeks ago, and have since hired Manuel Baum to try and guide the club back into the right half of the Bundesliga table. Schalke have started their league campaign in horrendous fashion as they sit rock-bottom in 18th place and are in desperate need of a victory.
Visitors Union Berlin have started their season in decent form, with four points from three games. Their most recent Bundesliga outing was a mammoth 4-0 win against Mainz which has lifted the spirits of the squad. They will fancy their chances against a struggling Schalke team and this should be an exciting match.
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Schalke 04 vs Union Berlin head-to-head
Suat Serdar scored a late winner the last time Union Berlin visisted the Veltins-Arena
Schalke have battled Union Berlin four times in the past. Last season, Schalke won their home game 2-1, while the reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw. The other two games were played a long time ago, with Union Berlin winning a friendly meeting 2-1 in 2009 and Schalke prevailing 2-0 in their first-ever match-up in 2001.
Schalke are winless in 19 competitive games. They’ve conceded a ridiculous 15 league goals in three games and only scored once in that period. Union Berlin have fared much better at both ends of the pitch, scoring six and conceding four.
Schalke form: W-L-L-L-W
Union Berlin form: W-W-D-L-W
Schalke 04 vs Union Berlin team news
The Royal Blues were dealt a couple of major injury blows in their most recent 4-0 loss at the hands of RB Leipzig. They lost their first-choice goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, who tore his abductor muscle, while 23-year-old midfielder Suat Serdar also exited the pitch early due to a hamstring injury.
Substitute goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow donned the gloves in Farhmann’s absence, and should start between the sticks against Union Berlin. Can Bozdogan, 19, replaced Suat Serdar against RB Leipzig, and what was supposed to be a great opportunity for him to shine, ended up in disaster as his own goal opened the scoring for their opponents.
Exciting Moroccan Amine Harit had tested positive for the coronavirus but has resumed training, and it remains to be seen whether he is deemed match-fit or not.
Injured: Ralf Fahrmann, Suat Serdar
Doubtful: Amine Harit
Suspensions: Ozan Kabak
The visitors will be without Nigerian forward Anthony Ujah for this one, as he continues to rehabilitate after undergoing a knee surgery. Forwards Max Kruse and Marcus Ingvartsen have done a decent job up-front in his absence, and should start together again after thriving in their 4-0 demolition of Mainz. Veteran midfielder Christian Gentner will also miss this game due to a calf injury.
Injured: Anthony Ujah, Christian Gentner
Schalke 04 vs Union Berlin Predicted XI
Schalke 04 Predicted XI (3-5-2): Frederik Ronnow; Matija Nastasic; Salif Sane; Benjamin Stambouli; Bastian Oczipka; Nabil Bentaleb; Sebastian Rudy; Omar Mascarell; Alessandro Schöpf; Mark Uth; Gonçalo Paciência.
Union Berlin Predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Andreas Luthe; Marvin Friedrich; Robin Knoche; Nico Schlotterbeck; Christopher Trimmel; Robert Andrich; Grischa Prömel; Christopher Lenz; Sheraldo Becker; Marcus Ingvartsen; Max Kruse.
Schalke 04 vs Union Berlin Prediction
Schalke will find it tough to deal with Kruse and co.
On paper, Schalke 04 have a decent squad capable of beating most Bundesliga opponents, especially when playing at their famous home ground. However, they don’t seem to be able to buy a goal right now, and have a pourous defence which will only get worse given the absence of Ralf Fahrmann.
Manuel Baum’s team did show some good signs in their 5-1 friendly win against Paderborn, but one result isn’t enough to suggest they will do the same against a gritty Union Berlin team. Schalke’s winless run is likely to extend to 20.
Final Verdict: Schalke 1-3 Union Berlin.
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