With the Bundesliga European race really starting to heat up, Bayer Leverkusen will look to build off of their midweek display when they make the trip to a downbeat Veltins-Arena on Sunday evening.
Booking their spot in the final of this year’s DFP Pokal thanks to a 3-0 romp away at lower league Saarbrücken on Tuesday night, this weekend’s guests have won seven of their last nine appearances across all competitions.
On the flip side, while Leverkusen might still be firmly in the Champions League chase, Schalke find the mood in their camp at a continued low after what has been a woeful run of form.
Recording just a single point since returning from the break and freefalling down the Bundesliga standings, the Royal Blues will also be concerned by what is a worrying record against Sunday’s guests.
Picking up a 2-1 win when they faced off against Schalke earlier in the season, Leverkusen landed an identical scoreline the last time they made the trip to the Veltins-Arena. You might be interested to know that another away victory this weekend can be found priced at 8/15 with Ladbrokes.
While Schalke may have managed to come from behind to grab a point away at Bundesliga debutants Union Berlin last weekend, the Royal Blues find the mood in their camp at a worrying low.
Returning from the enforced break in the midst of their worst run of the season so far, former Huddersfield boss David Wagner sees his position at the Veltins-Arena hanging by a thread.
Collecting just a single point out of a possible 15 since returning to action, Schalke have continued to gain a worrying reputation for their glaring issues on home soil.
Including a dreadful display in a 3-0 hammering against fellow strugglers Augsburg last month, Sunday’s hosts have failed to win any of their previous six matchups in Gelsenkirchen.
Even more worrying for Wagner, his men have failed to find the net in back-to-back appearances on home soil and have scored just a single goal at the Veltins-Arena in over 500 minutes of action.
You might be interested to know that Schalke can be found priced at 11/8 with Betfair to draw another blank this weekend.
The return of Kai Havertz?
Securing their first spot in the final of the DFP Pokal for the first time since 2009, the mood in Bayer Leverkusen’s camp should be at a high after what has been an eye-catching campaign for Peter Bosz’s side.
With only their goal difference keeping them outside the top-four this weekend, Die Werkself landed a routine 3-0 win against lower league Saarbrücken on Tuesday night and have won seven of their last nine appearances across all competitions.
Unsurprisingly, one starlet who has been a standout performer for Leverkusen this season has been the much sort-after, Kai Havertz.
Despite missing their Cup semi-final in midweek, Bosz confirmed that his expects his MVP to make a return to action at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday after overcoming a muscular injury.
Continuing to shine either side of the enforced break, the German playmaker remains linked with a move to Liverpool and has now recorded seven goals in his last six outings both domestically and in Europe.
More impressive, Leverkusen’s star has landed five goals in just his last three appearances away from the BayArena, including back-to-back braces against Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Celebrating his 21st birthday earlier in the week, Havertz can be found priced at 23/20 with William Hill to mark his return with another strike this weekend.