Schalke vs Gladbach by Gustav
It could be said that Schalke is now in all kinds of problems, since the team has five consecutive defeats from the start of the season and looked nowhere near as a competitive side, at least not for now. They are placed at the rock bottom position, with three points less than safely placed sides, so there's still a lot of time to improve, but the most worrying fact is the thing that they have scored only two goals in five matches so far.
In the most recent game, the team suffered 2:1 defeat on the road against Hoffenheim, in a game where they probably deserved at least bit more. They entered the game better and took the lead already in fourth minute with a goal from Choupo-Motig, but the hosts responded well till the end of the first halftime and managed to revert the scoreline thanks to goals from Kramaric and Rupp. Players of Schalke continued with being better in the repetition, however without changing the outcome of the game. At least a positive thing for the players of Schalke was a victory in Europa League game this Thursday night, when the team won over Salzburg 3:1 and surely improved their morale at least a bit in front of very important Bundesliga clash now.
Hosts continue to miss defender Coke (who signed for them from Sevilla this Summer and is yet to make appearance) with a knee injury. He and couple more long term missing players that didn't play a single minute should be only injury worry for the home side.
Gladbach, on the other side, could be content with their start in Bundesliga, since the team has three victories, a draw and a defeat for now, being at fourth position with ten points for now, five points less than leaders from Bayern Munich. Their target is getting the Champions League position and nowhere fighting for the title, so the team can feel content with the start they made so far.
In the most recent game, the team managed to take comfortable 2:0 victory against Ingolstadt last weekend in Bundesliga, controlling the ball from the first minute and deservedly taking the three pointer thanks to goals from Stindl in 42nd and Wendt in 76th minute. Team was also busy with a Champions League clash on Wednesday evening when they welcomed Barcelona and stood defeated 1:2, even though were the first one to take the lead. With two starting defeats in Champions League, it's hard to see them getting back into the fight for first two positions, since they are drawn together with Barcelona and Manchester City.
Visitors won't be able to count at defenders Doucoure (who anyway didn't play so far) and Strobl (3/0), while doubtful for today's game remain midfielder Schulz (8/0) with a groin problem.
Schalke comes from a morale boosting performance last time out against Salzburg and is in a must win situation. Gladbach is known for more passive and actually far worse performances on the road, but since they are visiting rock bottom side, I see them risking more here. Both teams should be able to have more than couple of threatening situations in front of opponent's goal.