Maribor vs Schalke 04 by 20legend
With Maribor could be reaching the 3rd place and Schalke could proceed into the knockout-stage with a win tonight, there is no doubt about the importance of this game. It is simply the most important game so far this season for both teams. Maribor is 4th in this group as expected, but with three points and they are all taken at home in the CL. This gives them an extra chance for staying in Europe this season. Schalke is currently in 3rd place with five points after a 1-2-2 form in the CL this year. A win tonight and a loss for Sporting will get them through tonight.
Maribor has serious injuries, while Stojanovic (broken nose) and Dervisevic (toothache) are doubtful. Stojanovic is usually in a starting lineup, but Mejac will probably take his place if he is unavailable:
Predicted lineup Maribor: Handanovič; Stojanović (Mejač), Rajčevič, Arghus, Viler; Mertelj, Ibraimi, Filipovič, Vršič; Tavares, Zahović.
Schalke has a bunch of injuries as Draxler (hamstring), Goretzka (hamstring), Boateng (ankle), Kolasinac (knee), Farfan (knee), Obasi (foot), Matip (foot), Sam (thigh) and Santana (thigh) are all out.
Predicted lineup Schalke: Fährmann; Neustädter, Kirchhoff, Höwedes; Uchida, Fuchs, Aogo, Höger, Meyer; Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar.
This is a huge game for both teams and I am certain of at least three goals to be scored tonight. First of all, Maribor has had a long season now (34 games this season) and this will be their last match before a winter-break for the players. Therefore I expect Maribor to be fully loaded for this match. Secondly, a draw is not good enough for either team, so it do not see a typical 0-0/1-1 game where Schalke have control at all time. The table does not lie: Maribor has 4:12 on goal difference, while Schalke has 8:14 on goal difference. There is a defensive weakness in both teams, while Schalke often scores more goals. I therefore see Maribor to show their strength at home and take their chances on aggressive counterattacks, while Schalke will off course be the more dominant side in terms of creating their usual amount of chances against a “weaker” team on paper. Thirdly: As mentioned, Schalke must also rely on Chelsea to beat Sporting in addition their own game against Maribor, so they will definitely need to attack from the very first minute and be fully loaded as well. A very open game is ahead of us, but the outcome will be very much open I think. Both teams to score is very good pick from Jamesington indeed, but I think that over 2.5 goals is another good choice here and it will be my pick.
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|Over 2,5 goals||Pinnacle||1.69||10||0-1 LOST (-10 units)|