Schalke 04 VS Eintracht Frankfurt Prediction
Second half of the 2016-17 German Bundesliga season kick-offs at the “Veltins-Arena” in Gelsenkirchen, where Schalke 04 takes on Eintracht Frankfurt in a game scheduled for Friday night, 27 January 2017. Both clubs have already renewed their 2017 Bundesliga campaigns last weekend, but a new week comes with all round 18 fixtures. Now Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt are involved in first match from the Bundesliga’s “spring schedule”, which virtually puts the beginning of second phase in top-tier of German football.
First duel facing Schalke 04 vs Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in the 2016-17 Bundesliga season was during the opening round. “The Eagles” from Frankfurt have better reasons to remember that game which took place at the “Commerzbank-Arena” in Frankfurt am Main, where Eintracht achieved a narrow win after an early goal by Alex Meier. Experienced captain of Eintracht Frankfurt has even missed to score a penalty in second half of the game, while central defender Michael Hector has been sent-off.
Match Preview: Schalke 04 vs Eintracht Frankfurt 27.01.2017
Couple of months after losing in Frankfurt, Schalke 04 will be keen to extend their good home run against Eintracht. Defeat in Frankfurt was surely a disappointment, but following results in next few weeks were even more devastating. Indeed, Markus Weinzierl began its spell as a head coach of Schalke 04 in worst possible fashion – with five consecutive defeats. That poor form definitely aroused some serious questions and we can clearly say that Weinzierl was on the edge. However, some good performances in the UEFA Europa League can be considered as a turning point for the 42-year-old German coach. Five successive wins in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League group phase, as well as sudden improvement in Schalke’s domestic efforts, were two arguments why Augsburg’s former coach remains in charge.
Meanwhile, Schalke 04 can’t be particularly pleased with their general movement. After 17 rounds “The Miners” from Gelsenkirchen have won just 21 points. A record that ranks them 10th in the Bundesliga standings and we all know that Schalke 04 is a club which aims to something better. Current asset of Schalke places them on 9 points behind Hertha BSC, who are fifth, as The Berliners occupy Schalke 04’s position at the end of season 2015-16.
In absolute contrast to their opponents, Eintracht Frankfurt are enjoying to a great season so far. Only few months ago Eintracht Frankfurt had to defend its Bundesliga spot in the relegation playoffs, but currently Niko Kovac’s side can boast with a top 6 position. “The Eagles” from Frankfurt will fly to Gelsenkirchen being number six in the standings, with 8 points above Schalke 04. Unquestionably, club from Frankfurt is one from the surprises during the ongoing Bundesliga campaign and Eintracht have just two points less from Hoffenheim (3rd). This simply means Eintracht Frankfurt can climb to third position, at least for a while, if Niko Kovac finds a way to win tactical battle against his colleague Markus Weinzierl.
Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Eintracht ended 2016 with only three defeats in 16 Bundesliga rounds, but their first Bundesliga fixture in 2017 has been marked by club’s biggest defeat in the season. That happened last Saturday when Eintracht Frankfurt lost 3-0 to runner-ups RB Leipzig at the “Red Bull Arena” in Leipzig. Of course, we should highlight that game was pretty much influenced by the early red card shown to Eintracht’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who had an early bath after less than 3 minutes on the field. So respectively Finnish goalkeeper is one of the players who won’t be available for Niko Kovac’s selection and Heinz Lindner will replace him between the sticks.
Other players who won’t be available for travelling to Gelsenkirchen are names of a suspended attacker Ante Rebic, as well as of injured or not fit enough Anderson, Yanni Regäsel, Marco Russ, Guillermo Varela, Danny Blum, Slobodan Medojevic, Szabolcs Huszti, Marc Stendera and Marco Fabian. As you can see that’s a wide number of absentees and if some of them are long-term, others are important first team players. That’s mostly valid for Hradecky, Huszti and Fabian, but Ante Rebic is also from players who receive a chance.
Good news are that Alex Meier, who sat on the bench against RB Leipzig, is expected to return in Eintracht’s starting XI and to be on top of their 3-4-2-1 formation.
After a very frustrating beginning of the season, December 2016 was also a poor period for Schalke 04. With only a point won out of 12 possible (1-1 draw at home vs Freiburg), “The Royal Blues” had to welcome Christmas and short winter break with only 18 points, also being not that far away from the relegation zone.
The new calendar year began with a dramatic home victory over struggling Ingolstadt last weekend. That happened on Saturday afternoon when Schalke 04’s winter signing Guido Burgstaller scored a late winner in stoppage time of the game. Burgstaller arrived from team of Nürnberg where he scored 14 goals in 16 league game and he still remains the leading top scorer in Second Bundesliga. The 27-year-old Austrian forward grabbed his chance from his first appearance as he replaced defensive midfielder Johannes Geis on half-time. A good reason to believe that Burgstaller can find its place in Schalke 04’s starting XI here, as his role can be an adequate replacement of injured attacking trio – Franco Di Santo, Breel Embolo and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Thus Markus Weinzierl has a typical striker in the squad since Max Meyer, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Donis Avdijaj are all players who can attack from second position.
Besides aforementioned trio, Markus Weinzierl cannot rely to Ghanaian winger Bernard Tekpetey, who represents Ghana at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Another player who took part at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, but he is already back in contention, since Algeria have been eliminated from the competition on Monday night.
There is a trio of injured defensive players as well – Coke, Atsuto Uchida and Abdul Rahman Baba are all unavailable.
Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Schalke 04 will try to use that momentum and enthusiasm coming after a difficult challenge against Ingolstadt. Some of you will say Ingolstadt is a team from the relegation zone, but let us remind you that Ingolstadt won against RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen in December. A reasonable factor why Markus Weinzierl can draw out only positives from that victory.
We believe that Schalke 04 should take advantage from all missing names in Eintracht Frankfurt, although hosts from Gelsenkirchen have their own injury concerns as well.
“The Royal Blues” will face Bayern in Munich next weekend, which is an additional reason why Schalke 04 must focus and try winning second in a row. Moreover, hosts traditionally feel well when “The Eagles” arrive in town and Schalke 04 have won in 8 of their last 12 home matches against Eintracht Frankfurt.
We are ready to place a bet (1X2 Betting) on another victory of the home side – Schalke 04 to win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Venue: “Veltins-Arena”, Gelsenkirchen.
Referee: Robert Hartmann.
Possible Lineups of Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt
FC Schalke 04: Ralf Fährmann – Matija Nastasic, Naldo, Benedikt Höwedes – Johannes Geis – Sead Kolasinac, Nabil Bentaleb, Leon Goretzka, Alessandro Schöpf – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Guido Burgstaller. (3-1-4-2)
Eintracht Frankfurt: Heinz Lindner – Jesús Vallejo, Michael Hector, David Abraham – Bastian Oczipka, Omar Mascarell, Makoto Hasebe, Timothy Chandler – Haris Seferovic, Branimir Hrgota – Alexander Meier. (3-4-2-1)