Preview - Stuttgart vs Schalke 27 Jan

Started by Bensergi, Jan 27, 2018, 04:16 PM

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Stuttgart vs Schalke

It is a match between two teams that are terribly down on form. Schalke have only won one of their last seven Bundesliga games (D5, L1), while Stuttgart have lost five of their last six league outings.

Having placed second just before the winter break, the Royal Blues have now failed to win either of the first games of a calendar year, a first in 19 years.

In the wake of a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against Hannover, fit-again Nabil Bentaleb could be restored in midfield alongside Leon Goretzka. Juventus loanee Marko Pjaca, who scored his first goal for the club against Hannover, and Amine Harit are competing for a midfield spot.

As for Stuttgart, they are likely to make changes at both ends against Schalke: Holger Badstuber is out with an adductor problem, but Emiliano Insua should return to left wing-back, while Daniel Ginczek is likely to start up top with Mario Gomez.

That said, Stuttgart have a solid home record, picking up 19 of a possible 27 points on home turf this season.

Prediction: Stuttgart 1-2 Schalke


Match Stats:

  • Stuttgart 0-2 Schalke
  • Shots: 9-11
  • Possession: 59%-41%
  • Corner kicks: 4-6

Naldo etched his name in the history books by making his 337th Bundesliga appearance - more than any other Brazilian - and he crowned it with his fifth goal of the season, a trademark header in off the far post from Daniel Caligiuri's free-kick. A foul by Stuttgart debutant Jacob Bruun Larsen on Leon Goretzka inside the penalty area gave Schalke the chance to double their lead within five minutes, and Amine Harit took it to silence the Mercedes-Benz-Arena. Mario Gomez had two chances to halve Schalke's lead on the stroke of half-time, but desperate defending denied the Germany international as the Royal Blues held their advantage going into the break.

Goretzka tried to divert Harit's low cross in with his backheel early in the second half, before leaving the field with what appeared to be a thigh injury. Yevhen Konoplyanka - making his first start of 2018 - should have put the game beyond Stuttgart after an hour's play, but he somehow pulled his shot wide of an open goal. The hosts tried to make the most of this let-off, but Ralf Fährmann denied Gomez before Dzenis Burnic blazed over. Naldo was denied a second by a spectacular Ron Robert Zieler save, but that did not ruin his nor Schalke's day as Domenico Tedesco's men celebrated their first away win since 4 November, and climbed to second in the standings.

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