Schalke vs Hoffenheim

March 7, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Schalke will be desperate to record a morale-boosting win following back to back embarrassing defeats to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but they will have to work hard in order to defeat free-scoring Hoffenheim. Having recorded another big win, Markus Gisdol’s charges will fancy their chances of pouring more misery on the Miners.

Confidence is low

Following some inconsistent performances in the first part of the season, Schalke largely impressed after the winter break, winning four straight Bundesliga matches to cement their place in the top 4. Jens Keller’s side then failed to defeat Mainz at home, having only mustered a goalless draw, but that was just the beginning of their problems. The Miners were then hammered 6-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League knockout stages, before losing 5-1 to Bayern Munich at Alianz Arena. Schalke were clearly unfortunate to face two of Europe’s strongest sides in the space of just three days, but they will need to quickly recover from the disappointing defeats. The Miners clearly have more than enough attacking potential to hurt gung-ho Hoffenheim, but with Santana and Papadopulos missing, their back line will have their work cut out for them after conceding 11 goals in last two matches. Much will depend on the hosts’ ability to recover from said losses, but they can be expected to start strongly in search of an early goal that would act as a perfect cure for the lack of confidence.

Felipe Santana and Kyriakos Papadopoulos miss out through injury and suspension respectively, whilst Atsuto Uchida, Dennis Aogo, Jan Kirchhoff, Marco Hoger and Christian Clemens remain on the sidelines.

Premium entertainment guaranteed

Hoffenheim become regarded as one of league’s most entertaining side quickly after they made it to the elite division in 2008 and they are staying true to their style. This also makes them very unpredictable, but whatever happens, fans always know they can expect plenty of goals each time Rhein Neckar Arena outfit are in action. With just 23 fixtures behind them, Hoffenheim have already scored 52 and conceded 48 goals, with weekend’s 6-2 triumph over very good Wolfsburg side giving them confidence ahead of the clash with out-of-sorts Schalke. Markus Gisdol’s side have only once failed to score since the winter break, while also conceding in six of seven fixtures, so we pretty much know what to expect from their match at Veltins Arena. Given their current run of form, backing Hoffenheim to win could be worth a shot, but betting on goals is a much safer option since Schalke are certainly superior in terms of quality and experience. And with the two rivals having played out a 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture back in September, another high-scoring match appears on the cards.

Boss Gisdol has no fresh injury worries, but David Abraham and Boris Vukcevic remain unavailable for selection.


With both sides scoring and conceding goals for fun and likely to adopt attack-minded approach, chances are we will see goals galore at Veltins Arena. Even if Hoffenheim are clearly in better form, I believe Schalke will finally produce a performance they are capable of, but odds offered on home win are simply not good enough.

Top pick: Over 3.5 goals   2.38 (11/8) @ SkyBet

Alternative pick 1: Over 1.5 first-half goals   2.30 (13/10) @ Coral

Alternative pick 2: Huntelaar to score   1.85 (17/20) @ Unibet

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