Matchday 27 in the Bundesliga is a three-day extravaganza of football. Sunday’s trio of games will kick off with an early fixture between Schalke and Augsburg at the Veltins Arena. Schalke are struggling for form and winless in their last seven matches. A loss last weekend versus Borussia Dortmund saw Schalke fall from sixth place to eighth place in the Bundesliga. David Wagner’s team have lost three of their last four games and confidence could be low following their 4-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund last weekend.
While Schalke are inching their way down the table, Augsburg are desperate to get a win and move away from the bottom three. After last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg, Augsburg are just four points above the relegation playoff place occupied by Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Schalke have not lost to Augsburg since December 2015. Since that loss, Schalke have put together an eight-match unbeaten run versus Augsburg. Wagner’s team have posted a 4W-4D-0L record during that timeframe.
Augsburg have lost four straight Bundesliga matches. The club scored just three goals across those four matches and were held scoreless in two of those games. Just one point has been collected in the club’s last six Bundesliga fixtures. Heiko Herrlich must find a way to turn the Fuggerstädter around and get points to save their Bundesliga status.
Schalke have obtained 21 points from 39 possible at the Veltins Arena this season. Their recent home for has been good with just one loss in six games. However, just two of those fixtures ended in wins for the Blues. Goalscoring hasn’t been one of Schalke’s strengths as only 18 goals have been scored at home. Meanwhile, the club have conceded 18 strikes.
Wagner’s team are the fifth-lowest scoring team in the Bundesliga. They have scored a mere 33 goals with relegation-threatened teams the only clubs to have scored fewer after 26 games.
Augsburg have the second-worst away points total in the division with nine. Only Eintracht Frankfurt have tallied fewer points on the road. Augsburg have lost five straight games on their travels in the Bundesliga. Only twice in 2019-20 have Augsburg managed an away victory, while they have scored the second-fewest away goals with a mere 12.
Schalke scored a 3-2 victory over Augsburg when they met earlier this campaign. The two sides finished the first half 1-1 before exploding with three more goals in the second period.
When these teams met earlier this season, Augsburg’s Daniel Baier opened the scoring in the 38th minute. Thirteen minutes later Schalke got onto the scoresheet thanks to an own goal from Augsburg’s Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Fuggerstädter once again took the lead in the second half with a penalty goal from Alfred Finnbogason. Schalke then scored twice in the final 19 minutes courtesy of Ozan Kabak and Amine Harit to claim the come from behind win.
Wagner with be without three players at the very least. Harit is out indefinitely due to a ligament injury. Midfielder Omar Mascarell is also ruled out of the match thanks to a groin strain. On-loan Barcelona centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo is also ruled out of the game with an ankle injury. The highly praised young centre-back was destroyed by Borussia Dortmund last weekend before coming off with the ankle issue.
Augsburg are set to be without Fabian Giefer. He has a foot injury that will prevent him from participating. Finnbogason could miss out on the fixture with a knee issue. He is only listed as a doubt, so could still return. The Iceland international has scored three times this term with one of those scores coming against Schalke. Fellow striker Julian Schieber could also miss out on the fixture through injury.
The last time these clubs met in the Bundesliga they combined to score five goals. One of those goals came thanks to an own goal. Augsburg’s Lichtsteiner turned the ball into his own net allowing Schalke to get back into the fixture. Augsburg have scored the most own goals in the Bundesliga in 2019-20 with three shots turned into their own net.
A handful of penalties were scored last weekend as defences struggled to get back to full fitness against attackers. When these teams met in November, Finnbogason scored a goal from the spot to give Augsburg an early second-half lead. Both teams had shaky defences on matchday 26. Augsburg conceded a second-half stoppage time goal allowing Wolfsburg to win while Schalke conceded four goals without scoring versus Borussia Dortmund.
Seven of the last nine matches in the Bundesliga between Schalke and Augsburg ended with both teams finding the back of the net. Last time out, they combined for five goals in a thriller at Augsburg. With both teams struggling on the defensive end, which was evident last weekend, Sunday’s early kickoff could see several goals fly into the back of the net.
Augsburg desperately need to pick up points. Just four points separate them from the relegation playoff place. Fortuna Dusseldorf play Koln later in the day and could pick up points versus the Billy Goats. Fortuna Dusseldorf will have the fortune of playing later in the day and could be motivated by Augsburg’s result.
Schalke, on the other hand, are slipping down the table. Once a promising Champions League qualification side, Schalke slipped into the Europa League qualifying places and further down. Wagner has to find a way to stop the rot at the Veltins Arena.
The Blues should get back to winning ways versus Augsburg. They are eight games unbeaten versus Sunday’s visitors and should push that run to nine with a win or draw.
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