Preview - FC Cologne vs Schalke 04 23 April 18

Started by Harry85, Apr 21, 2018, 07:54 PM

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Apr 21, 2018, 07:54 PM Last Edit: Apr 21, 2018, 07:56 PM by Harry85
Match Day 31
FC Cologne vs Schalke 04
Monday, April 23rd, 2018
01:00 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Müngersdorfer Stadion

FC Cologne: 
Last five matches form: L W L D L
Average goals per match: 0.97
Average goals against per match: 1.93
Top Scorer: Simon Terodde (5)

Schalke 04:
Last five matches form: W W L W L
Average goals per match: 1.57
Average goals against per match: 1.10
Top Scorer: Guido Burgstaller (10)

Schalke 04 travel to rock bottom FC Cologne on Match Day 31 as the home side continue to bid their farewells to the Bundesliga. Should both Freiburg and Mainz 05 pick up at least a point this weekend, Cologne will be officially relegated by the time this game kicks off. Its been a matter of if and not when for some time now though.

Sehrou Guirassy remains out for Cologne, but their big problems come in centre midfield with neither Matthias Lehmann nor Salih Özcan ready to return to the line-up.

Schalke 04 have enjoyed an excellent campaign to date and have been best of the rest behind the unstoppable Bayern Munich. They arrive at this match on the back of a disappointment though, having been beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi final of the cup in midweek. The suspended Matija Nastasic misses out here.

Schalke put in a strange performance in their last away match in the Bundesliga when losing to Hamburg, but had previously beaten Wolfsburg, Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen on their travels without conceding a goal. We would expect something similar here. Depending on results elsewhere a win here may be enough to confirm Champions League qualification with three games still to play. That should serve as sufficient motivation and they really should outclass their hosts in the end.

Prediction: FC Cologne 0 - 2 Schalke 04


Half time: 1 - 2
Full time: 2 - 2
Shots: 11 - 21
Shots on target: 3- 7
Corner Kicks: 5 - 7
Possession: 59% - 41%

No bookings in this match as referee Marco Fritz kept his cards in his pocket throughout.

Undoubtedly something of a surprise result this one as second placed Schalke failed to get past rock bottom Cologne. Whilst the visitors unexpectedly bossed the shot count, it was Cologne who dominated possession, and although Schalke were in the end possibly a little unlucky not to win, they can't really have too many complaints.

The game certainly went to script in the opening stages. Excellent play from Yevheniy Konoplyanka down the left hand side, racing into the area before crossing low for his sliding in strike partner Bree Embolo to fire home.

In the 23rd minute Konoplyanka added a goal to his assist. Again breaking into the box on the left hand side, this time he cut inside onto his right foot before side footing past the outrushing Timo Horn and into the far bottom corner.

The home side hit back almost immediately though. Jonas Hector timing his through ball to perfection to find Leonardo Bittencourt running into the box. Bittencourt smashing low past Ralph Faehrmann at his near post. 1-2 at the interval.

The second half was very evenly matched as Cologne had the look of a side who believed they could salvage something.

Then in the 83rd minute they were awarded a free kick around 35 yards out. Too far surely! Not for Marco Risse, who smashed a swerving and dipping effort over the wall and past Faehrmann. 2-2 final score.

This is all too little too late for Cologne who remain rooted to the foot of the table and eight points adrift of safety.

Not too much damage done for Schalke who stay second and look comfortable for Champions League qualification.

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