Union Berlin host Schalke at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Sunday, in what could be a pivotal game for both clubs. The home team are desperate for a win to pull themselves away from the relegation zone, while Schalke have lost all four of their matches since the Bundesliga restart.
Where and when: Stadion An der Alten Forsterei – 7 June, kick-off 14:30
Where you can see Union Berlin vs. Schalke: BT Sport
Last time: These teams met for the first time in their history earlier this season. After the scoreboard was tied at 1-1 after the first half, Suat Serdar scored a late winner for Schalke as the home team triumphed 2-1 at the Veltins-Arena.
Union Berlin v Schalke Predictions and Preview
This is a game between two sides in dreadful form. They’ve only managed one point between them since the Bundesliga’s return from its enforced break, a run that’s seen Union Berlin drop towards the relegation zone and Schalke fall five points away from the European places.
Union are the team who’ve won that solitary point, courtesy of a 1-1 draw against relegation rivals Mainz in their last home game. That followed defeats to Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin, and preceded a heavy 4-1 loss at Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend.
It’s been a tough run of games for Urs Fischer’s side, but this represents a great opportunity for Die Eisernen to forge ahead and get their season back on track. They start this game in 14th and only a few points clear of the drop zone, but their opponents on Sunday are in even worse shape than themselves.
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Union to win and BTTS
Union to win 2-1
Both teams to score in the first half
Schalke went down 1-0 at home to second-bottom Werder Bremen on Saturday, as they lost their fourth straight match since the restart. They’ve failed to score on three occasions, conceding 10 goals at the other end.
David Wagner is desperate for a reaction from his players, with Die Konigsblauen now five points behind sixth and seventh-placed Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim. If Schalke are to have any chance of claiming a spot in next season’s Europa League, they surely have to win this game.
Die Knappen are 43/20 to mine themselves three points on Sunday, although they’ll have to do so without the suspended Weston McKennie. Amine Harit and match-winner against Union earlier this season, Serdar, are both injured, although Benjamin Stambouli and Omar Mascarell could be in contention after returning to training.
For the hosts, Akaki Gogia is also back in training after a cruciate ligament injury, although Sheraldo Becker, Maurice Opfermann Arcones, Laurenz Dehl and Julian Ryerson are all set to miss out. Die Eisernern are 33/21 to show their metal by picking up the win, while the draw is priced at 23/10. Considering Schalke are missing their top two scorers, a home win could be the way to go.
One to watch for Union Berlin: Sebastian Andersson was on target in last weekend’s defeat to Gladbach, his 12th Bundesliga goal of the season. He is the 9/2 favourite to make it a lucky 13 by breaking the deadlock on Sunday.
One to watch for Schalke: Young American midfielder Weston McKennie is the only man to have scored for Schalke since the Bundesliga’s restart, netting the opener in their 2-1 defeat at Fortuna Dusseldorf last week. He is 16/1 to strike first again here.
Long shot: Union beat Schalke 2-1 at this ground in a 2009 friendly. Die Eisernen are 9/1 to repeat that scoreline this weekend, with those odds rising to 51/1 with Andersson grabbing the opening goal.