Bayer Leverkusen are odds on to claim another important victory in what have so far been a very eventful season, so back them to carry the day in Gelsenkirchen when visiting floundering Schalke 04.
Date: Sunday, June 14
Venue: Veltins Arena
Schalke are sinking without trace and would flinch at meeting such quality opposition at such trying time, having failed to win any of their last 12 league games, their worst run of form since the 1993/94 season.
Their last game was a dour 1-1 with Union Berlin though they can thank their stars as they are still very far from being dragged into a fight to avoid relegation.
Bayer meanwhile, bounced back from a 4-2 loss to Bayern Munich with a 3-0 cup win over Saarbrücken to move into the showpiece of the DFB Pokal in midweek.
Thus, they will be confident of completing the league double over Schalke, having already beaten them 2-1 in the game’s reverse fixture.
Omar Mascarell will not play again this season after failing to recover from an adductor tear, while Suat Serdar will also miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Guido Burgstaller will not play again this season after suffering a knee injury.
Ozan Kabak is fit again after a back injury, while Benito Raman has overcome his muscle injury.
Kai Havertz missed the game against Bayern through injury but could return.
Jonathan Tah has been suffering from a bad back and will be assessed closer to kickoff.
Lars Bender is still struggling with a foot injury and so misses out.
Head to Head
In 74 previous competitive meetings between these two, Leverkusen have won 32 times to Schalke’s 20. 22 games have been drawn.
Schalke last five competitive games: LLLLD
Leverkusen last five competitive games: WLWLW
There is little to suggest Schalke stand a chance against the might of Bayer who have been at their brilliant best for much of this season. With the visitors still vying for a Champions League berth, this is a game they should cart home maximum points to put pressure on the likes of Mönchengladbach and RB Leipzig. That said, Die Werkself are worth every of the point to secure an outright win here (8/15), and that is our first pick on this game.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in five of Leverkusen’s last six league games and it could be that such trend continues at the Veltins Arena. Over 2.5 goals is priced for 8/11 by BetClever.