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RB Leipzig v Schalke (Sat 5.30pm)
Schalke were not expected to be sitting in second place at the halfway stage of the season but then again, there was uncertainty over what impact 31-year-old coach Domenico Tedesco would have. So far, so very good though.
It all started with his side’s performance on the opening day against RB Leipzig, last season’s runners-up to Bayern Munich. The dogged defensive display from Schalke that day was a sign of things to come.
Reflecting on that game, Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has talked before the rematch of how his side struggled to find the right answers in the final third. His struggle to solve that conundrum this time round is not helped by Emil Forsberg, last season’s top creator, being out injured.
Then there’s Naby Keita, wanted by Liverpool this January and according to reports, not training quite as hard as he usually would but at least, for Hasenhüttl’s sake, main striker Timo Werner should be fit.
As for Schalke, there could be a start for Marko Pjaca, their Croatian attacking midfielder who has already been impressing since arriving from Juventus on a loan deal until the end of the season. There’s more of a question mark over whether midfielder Leon Goretzka will be fit enough to start again.
Schalke proved they were able to cope without him but they’re still better off with him in the side at present. Like the game on the opening day of the season, this is likely to be closely fought but you still expect both sides to score.
- Leipzig 1, Schalke 1 (23-4, Unibet)
- Werner to score first (19-5, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (17-25, Unibet)
Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.