Big Match Preview - RB Leipzig vs Schalke 14 Jan

Started by Bensergi, Jan 11, 2018, 05:52 PM

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Jan 11, 2018, 05:52 PM Last Edit: Jan 11, 2018, 05:54 PM by Bensergi
RB Leipzig vs Schalke
14 Jan, Sun, 1:30am

This mouth-watering clash will set the Bundesliga alight once more as the league returns from its winter break.

Schalke have not lost in 11 Bundesliga games, enjoying their longest unbeaten run for 11 years, while RB Leipzig have only lost once at home this season, a 3-2 to ten-men Hertha Berlin.

Schalke have stayed home during the break, dishing out a 2-0 win against Czech side Dukla Prague. Leipzig, meanwhile, have their squad restored to full strength over the holiday period.

Striker Timo Werner, who is destined to be Germany's main man in attack in this year's World Cup, was the major injury doubt but he is back in full training.

Leipzig, who tumbled to fifth following the Berlin defeat, can leapfrog second-placed Schalke with a win. In between these two are Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, who are parked in the third and fourth spots.

Big Team News:
Only Schalke's Leon Goretzka and Paulo Insua will miss this matchup. New signing Marko Pjaca, a misfit at Juventus, could be in line for his competitive debut.

Goretzka, who is out of contract in the summer and has made 12 appearances for Schalke this term, has netted four goals and provided one assist.

Big Stat 1: Leipzig finished with 24 more points than Schalke last season.

Big Stat 2: Schalke conceded six goals to opposition substitute players in the first half of the season, the most in the league.

Big Stat 3: Leon Goretzka is out of contract with Schalke in the summer.


Match Stats:

  • RB Leipzig 3-1 Schalke
  • Shots: 11-7
  • Possession: 50%-50%
  • Corner kicks: 4-4

A much-changed Leipzig side took their time to settle, but Ralph Hasenhüttl's men just about deserved to go in at the break with their noses in front. The breakthrough came shortly after Ralf Fährmann had denied Jean-Kevin Augustin from the penalty spot, with Liverpool-bound Naby Keita driving home from range with the aid of a huge deflection off Naldo. A Guido Burgstaller shot on the turn - well saved by Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulasci - was the best Schalke could muster.

Schalke have a habit of fighting back, though, and duly levelled soon after the restart when Naldo met Daniel Caliguri's in-swinging free-kick with an unstoppable downward header. The Royal Blues appeared to be in the ascendancy, until a Naldo mistake allowed Leipzig to restore their lead. Timo Werner prodded in from Konrad Laimer, before turning provider for Bruma to smash in a third barely two minutes later. It was one-way traffic for the remainder as Schalke succumbed to their first defeat in 11 matches.

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