Andre Silva, Dani Olmo, and Dominic Szoboszlai are to be the go to players when RB Leipzig try to wrest back a top four position at basement club Schalke on Tuesday night. Division top scorer Christopher Nkunku and record goal grabber Timo Werner are yet to regain match fitness after missing the Qatar World Cup injured. Though Werner came on as a second half substitute in last Friday’s one-all draw with Bayern Munich, coach Marco Rose is unlikely to risk his recovery process by fielding him from the start.
Newly promoted Schalke are one of Germany’s best supported clubs but they commence match day 17 six points behind survival pace after collecting an abysmal nine points all season.
In a flashback to the eighties when the two sides annually contested for silverware with Pierre Littbarski, Jurgen Kohler, Toni Schumacher and Klaus Allofs taking on Bavarians Karl Heinz Rummenigge, Lothar Mathaus, Stefan Reuter and Klaus Augenthaler, Julian Nagelmann’s pacesetters Bayern Munich defend a five point cushion atop the table when they host a Cologne side that battered newcomers Werder Bremen 7-1 over the weekend.
Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic will demand that his side defend as a team when they travel to Mainz after witnessing the Black and Yellows play with reckless abandon in their 4-3 victory over Augsburg on Sunday. Ivorian Sebastian Haller came off the bench in that match but he is pushing for a starting slot alongside teenage prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko.
Oliver Glasner’s second placed Eintracht Frankfurt face a potential banana skin when they confront a Christian Steich coached Freiburg side still smarting from a 6-0 humbling at the hands of Wolfsburg. The Europa League winners are joint second with Union Berlin who begin as favourites at Werder Bremen. Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso will meanwhile be targeting a fifth consecutive victory when his slow starters welcome Bochum to the Bay Arena.
Schalke v RB Leipzig,
Bayern Munich v Koln,
Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg,
Hoffenheim v Stuttgart
Mainz v Borussia Dortmund,
Bayer Leverkusen v Bochum,
Augsburg v Gladbach,
Freiburg v Frankfurt,
Werder Bremen v Union Berlin
RB Leipzig v Stuttgart