Preview - Bayer Leverkusen vs Schalke 25 Feb

Started by aaguerra90, Feb 23, 2018, 05:10 AM

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Match Day 24
Bayer Leverkusen vs Schalke 04
Sunday, February 25th, 2018
22:30 (GMT +8)
Stadium: BayArena

Bayer Leverkusen:
Last five matches: W L W D W
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 1.3
Top Scorer: Kevin Volland (10)
Schalke 04: 
Last five matches:W L W L W
Average goals per match: 1.5
Average goals against per match: 1.3
Top Scorer: Guido Burgstaller (7)

Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke face off in a match that may very well have top four implications come the end of the year. The two sides are separated by only one point in the Bundesliga table, with Leverkusen holding the last spot for Champions League qualification.

Bayer Leverkusen have only lost two matches at home this year--one to leaders Bayern Munich, and the other to Hertha Berlin a couple of weeks ago. Coach Heiko Herrlich took a gamble and rested some of his key players for that match and it backfired, don't expect him to do the same this time around. Last week saw the return of injured players Leon Bailey and Charles Aranguiz, which helped propel them to a 2-1 at Hamburg.

Schalke were firing on all cylinders in the first half of the season. Their form in the new year has been a tad underwhelming though, as they have only won twice in 2018. Last week's win against Hoffenheim was a very important one. It keeps them in the hunt for Champions League qualification and it may provide the morale boost they need to put a winning streak together.

The return of Bailey and Kevin Volland to the Leverkusen starting eleven may be overwhelming for the visiting side. Schalke's defensive record away from home has been subpar. Bayer Leverkusen should take all three points from this match.

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Schalke 04


Half Time: 0:1
Full Time: 0:2
Shots: 7:10
Shots on target: 2:4
Corner Kicks: 7:3
Possession: 54:46

Schalke vaulted themselves into the Champions League qualification places after defeating 10 man Bayer Leverkusen today. The home side paid a huge price for Dominik Kohr's dismissal in the first half and missed a golden opportunity to move up to second place and instead drop to fifth, outside of the Champions League qualification zone.

Schalke opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Guido Burgstaller. Daniel Caligiuri sent a long ball over the defense which Burgstaller controlled beautifully, lifted it over Leverkusen defender Panagiotis Restos, and then fired past goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Leverkusen nearly come level through Leon Bailey, but the young Jamaican's shot was just inches wide of the post.

The hosts were reduced to ten men right before the half when Kohr received his marching orders for a second yellow card, just minutes after earning his first for a late tackle.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich tried to light a spark under his team and brought on Lucas Alario after half time. As the game progressed, in an attempt to search for the equalizer, he sent on two other forwards, Stefan Kiessling and Karim Bellarabi.

However, Schalke's Breel Embolo would prove to be more dangerous than any of the Leverkusen forwards. The Swiss international was denied by a great reflex save by Leno and was then fouled in the box by Restos to grant Schalke a penalty kick. Nabil stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, sealing the win for Schalke in the 89th minute.

Schalke have 40 points, tied with Borussia Dortmund for second place; while Leverkusen remain with 38 in fifth. It is a tight battle for the European football qualification places, as only six points separate second place from seventh. 

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