Schalke will host Augsburg on Sunday as both sides look to confirm their Bundesliga survival.
Schalke are in 15th place, six points clear of Stuttgart who are one place beneath them. Stuttgart occupy the relegation playoff spot, and the two sides below them will be relegated directly. Schalke are not used to relegation battles, but they are currently embroiled in one. If they win against Augsburg, their superior goal difference over Stuttgart will mean that they are all but safe.
Their last result does not indicate the struggle they are in. Schalke visited Signal Iduna Park to play second-placed Borussia Dortmund. The Ruhr derby ended in a 4-2 win for Schalke, as they dominated the game and caused a huge upset. That win was a huge one, and it brought a four-game winless run to an end. Coach Huub Stevens will know that it put them on the brink of survival.
Schalke qualified for the Champions League last season, but this season has seen a sharp dip. The bowed out to Manchester City in the Round of 16, and their league form has fallen off a cliff. Domenico Tedesco was fired this year due to the poor results, and Stevens was brought in to replace him. He has overseen just two wins in his tenure, one of which was last week’s result against Dortmund.
Augsburg are in a situation which is quite similar to Schalke’s plight. They are one point and one position above Schalke. A win would also guarantee safety for them. Augsburg have lost three of their last five Bundesliga games. They played Bayer Leverkusen last week, and the game ended badly. Augsburg took an early lead through Kevin Danso, but Leverkusen came back to win 4-1.
Before that loss, Augsburg were on a good run. They beat Stuttgart 6-0, and that win widened the gap between themselves and the danger zone. Despite their lowly league position, Augsburg have two players in the top 10 scorers this season. Michael Gregoritsch and Alfred Finnbogason have scored 25 goals combined, which is a significant reason why Augsburg are on the right side of the line.
Finnbogason is injured right now, but Gregoritsch will continue to play a lead role. Marco Richter has deputized in Finnbogason’s absence, and he has impressed. Richter scored twice in the 6-0 win over Stuttgart. Despite scoring many, Augsburg have also conceded many. They have conceded 59 goals this season, and only two other sides have conceded more in the Bundesliga.
Schalke vs Augsburg Prediction
The head to head record tells us that goals will be seen in this game. Expect both sides to register, and the total goals should be more than 2.5 in this game. Six of the last seven matches between these two sides have had goals from both teams. This promises an exciting encounter, particularly for the neutral.
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