It’s been a tough few weeks for Schalke, with defeats at home to Bayern Munich (3-0) and on the road to Hoffenheim (2-0) seeing their form and position in the table take a stumble. Schalke should, however, fancy themselves to get back on track this weekend. Not only have Schalke been at their best this year when playing at the Veltins Arena (W6 D4 L2), but Friday’s opponents, Bayer Leverkusen, hold one of the worst away records in the Bundesliga in 2017 – defeats in 67%!
Leverkusen’s start to the season has had its ups and downs. While the visitors have taken seven points in impressive fashion over three fixtures at home to Hoffenheim (a 2-2 draw), Freiburg (a 4-0 win), and Hamburg (a 3-0 win), as was the case last season, they’ve looked unconvincing in their matches on the road, especially at the back. Leverkusen have conceded a massive 8 of their 10 goals this season on the road!
Though Bayer have won all of the last three meetings against Schalke at the Veltins Arena, the hosts should have the upper hand this time around and seem a reasonable price to back “draw no bet”. Leverkusen’s inconsistency at the back has seen them broken down by much weaker sides than Schalke, for example, in the 3-1 defeat to Mainz 05 a few weeks back, which should prove problematic for the visitors once again, given Schalke’s scoring form at home – the hosts have scored two or more in 5 of their last 10 at the Veltins Arena.
That being said, Leverkusen are not without their own going forward either, so we wouldn’t put it passed them to get on the scoreboard. Leverkusen have found the back of the net in 75% of their matches on the road this year, including all three so far this season (L3). Schalke themselves have also not been without defensive faults of their own, conceding in 67% of their home matches in 2017, so both teams to score would be another probable scenario. In terms of which way this match swings, Leverkusen’s unstable back line will likely be the deciding factor here. Our prediction: a 2-1 Schalke win.