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Apr 3, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
2-1
SchalkeSchalke 04
Alario (26'), Schick (72')
Tapsoba (73')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Huntelaar (81')

Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bayer Leverkusen take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts needing to win to keep any Champions League qualification hopes alive.

Schalke, meanwhile, have scored only one goal in their last seven matches as they edge closer to their inevitable relegation.


Match preview

After Leverkusen's embarrassing 3-0 defeat to struggling Hertha Berlin prior to the international break, the board were left with little to choice but to relieve Peter Bosz from his duties as manager of the side.

The 57-year-old had been in charge since December 2018, guiding Leverkusen back into the Champions League on the final day of his first season as well as reaching the DFB-Pokal final last season. However, having been top of the Bundesliga as recently as December, recent results left his position untenable.

Indeed, Die Werkself were simply pitiful in Berlin last time out, with the same problems both on and off the ball on full display once again.

Only FC Koln and Schalke have conceded more goals than Hertha this season, yet Leverkusen only mustered one shot on target despite having 72% possession, leaving numerous gaps at the back for Hertha to ruthlessly exploit early on with three goals within the first 33 minutes of the match.

Germany Under-18s coach Hannes Wolf has been brought in as interim head coach until the end of the season, with the former Stuttgart manager having a dream start in his new role against a Schalke side which has only won one league game all season. Anything less than three points would be unacceptable.

Schalke suffered another hapless defeat of their own last time out with a 3-0 loss at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, who had previously lost seven matches in a row in all competitions.

Dimitrios Grammozis's side inexplicably failed to clear their lines after Marcus Thuram had powerfully burst down the left flank and cut the ball back, with Lars Stindl clinically pouncing on the loose ball by firing into the roof of the net to open the scoring after 15 minutes.

Despite having only one shot on target and 29% possession across the 90 minutes, Schalke at least dug in until after the hour mark, but Stefan Lainer was awarded far too much space to head home at the near post from Jonas Hofmann's corner.

Any doubts regarding the result were put entirely to bed when goalkeeper Fredrik Ronnow amateurishly carried Nico Elvedi's header over his own goal-line. Now 14 points from safety, Schalke's first relegation since 1988 will be confirmed at some point in April without a major turnaround in form.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L


Team News

Moussa Diaby, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent weeks, may be forced to miss out having had to withdraw from the France Under-21s squad due to testing positive for COVID-19.

Daley Sinkgraven, Lars Bender, Lukas Hradecky and Santiago Arias will all be assessed but are unlikely to recover from their respective injuries in time to feature, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Julian Baumgartlinger ruled out for the season after suffering serious ACL injuries.

Schalke, meanwhile, have a lengthy injury list, too, with Hamza Mendyl and Nabil Bentaleb definitely unable to make the trip to Leverkusen.

Nassim Boujellab, Ralf Fahrmann, Matija Nastasic, Mark Uth, Steven Skrzybski, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane and Goncalo Paciencia will all be assessed after their recent injuries but are unlikely to be risked.

However, Amine Harit should be fit to partner Matthew Hoppe in attack from the start, providing a boost in transition.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Grill; Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell; Aranguiz, Demirbay; Bailey, Wirtz, Gray; Schick

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw, Kolasinac; Serdar, Mascarell, Stambouli; Raman, Hoppe, Harit


We say: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Schalke 04

We expect Wolf to have an instant impact in his new role at Leverkusen by gaining a comfortable victory against a dismal Schalke side.

With Harit and Hoppe combining in attack, though, it would be no surprise to see Schalke end their woes in front of goal against a leaky Leverkusen defence.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



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