Schalke vs Mainz by Gustav
Schalke is far away from any reliability in their form, but it's obvious that the team is in a good mood now, that the morale is improving and most likely, they will be able to climb up at the table in further weeks more and more. Previous weekend, they managed to take a point in away game against Augsburg following 1:1 draw.
Their performance was satisfying enough and the team took the lead first in 65th minute with a goal from Bentaleb, while the hosts leveled up the result just twelve minutes later via Baier. Overall, it was quite an equal game and the final result was fair, even though it could have gone either ways. Schalke now wants to continue their good trend after winning over Gladbach 4:0 in previous home match, while they improved in Europa League as well, getting a three pointer on the road against Krasnodar 1:0 last Thursday, having now three victories out of three matches and are already huge favorites to end up first and reach the next round.
Hosts continue to miss defender Coke (who anyway didn't perform so far), plus forward Breel Embolo (7/2). Doubtful for this match are left back Sead Kolasinac (3/0), midfielders Nabil Bentaleb (7/1), Leon Goretzka (5/1) and Sydney Sam (2/0), as well as forward Maxim Choupo-Motig (7/2).
Mainz, on the other side, managed to get a three pointer in a home game against Darmstadt last weekend celbrating the victory with 2:1 result. They had control over the game and took the lead already in fifth minute via De Blasis, while guests were threatening as well and were overall quite active on the field.
They even missed a penalty kick, but the hosts doubled up the lead from the penalty spot via Malli. Finally, visitors reduced the deficit also from penalty in additional time via Gondorf, but that was all they were able to do. This victory broke a mini streak of two matches without a three pointer for them, as the team currently reside at eight position, just four points behind second placed Koln.
Mainz have forward Andre Silva (no performance so far) and midfielder Philipp Klement (also no performance) as doubtful for this one. Midfielder Jose Rodrigues (1/0) is suspended, while injured remain midfielders Yoshinori Muto (3/2), Danny Latza (no performance so far), Besar Halimi (no performance as well) and Christian Clemens (3/0).
There's no doubt that Schalke is fired up to get the new victory and they will try to attack from the first minute. Mainz has changed their orientation away from home and is also looking very threatening on the road. I expect a very open game from both sides therefore, my first choice will be both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals.