A fascinating triple-header of Bundesliga action kicks off early Sunday morning with a big-time clash between two teams in desperate situations.
Both Schalke and Augsburg know the clock is ticking on their respective campaigns, and with points at a premium – both squads will be entering Matchday 27 feeling a real need to secure a full three points come Sunday.
Schalke currently sit eighth in the table, pending Saturday’s results. They’re a side that has spent money recently, and feel they need a better return on their investment. With European qualification spots already mostly claimed, Schalke’s only hope will be to make up a few points and catch Wolfsburg for that sixth position, and a Europa League berth. If they are to accomplish that, they’ll need to be much better than last week’s poor Derby showing against Borussia Dortmund.
For the visiting Augsburg side, they’re just trying to scratch and claw every point they can get, in a desperate attempt to avoid falling into a tight relegation battle. In the Bundesliga, the three bottom teams get sent down to the league below, and Augsburg are currently only three points clear of the drop zone. They blew points last week to Wolfsburg, and with disarray on both the touchline and the pitch – it remains to be seen how they’ll close out another poor campaign.
With both sides facing a real crunch to secure points at the critical time, expect a hungry match from Schalke and Augsburg. It has been an unbelievable betting run since the Bundesliga’s restart last week, so keep reading on beneath the posted odds for a match breakdown and betting preview for Schalke vs. Augsburg on Matchday 27.
Schalke vs. Augsburg Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-111)
Under 2.5 (-109)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Schalke vs. Augsburg Pick:
Expect a big-time bounceback outing from David Wagner’s Schalke side this week. They were the second-best side on the field by a lofty margin last week against their rivals from Dortmund, but the competition this week should be much easier.
The Royal Blues are in the midst of quite the funk at the moment, not having secured a victory since January 17th. This has to be both surprising and alarming to their supporters, as Schalke remain a proud club that has spent money to bring quality players in. They’ve proven that they can play with the best sides in the Bundesliga, and need Sunday to be a reminder of that.
For Augsburg, it’s just a great start that their proper manager will be on the sidelines this Sunday. You’ll recall that last week head coach Heiko Herrlich broke quarantine rules and was subsequently suspended from managing his side last week vs. Wolfsburg. Making matters worse was the fact that it was slated to be his first game in charge. Quite the impression!
Augsburg enter relatively healthy for Matchday 27, and will quite likely be once again overly reliant on key striker up top, Florian Niederlechner. For the hosts, they have some fresh injury concerns – though Schalke’s depth should play to their favour here. Daniel Cagliuri is getting his legs back and feels fully fit, and he should play a key role in commanding and controlling this match from the midfield. He’s also lethal on set pieces, an area Augsburg have been particularly vulnerable in of late.
Last week’s debacle for the Royal Blues aside, Schalke very usually does not give up much or concede many goals. They are solid at the back, and play a great structured game. Augsburg lack creativity and scoring options, and with a glaring lack of depth at Herrlich’s disposal – he’ll be left searching for options quite often down the stretch. Augsburg also possess the league’s third-worst defense, and though Schalke can be described as ‘goal-shy’ at times, they definitely have enough quality to outscore their opponents on Sunday.
There’s a big gulf in talent for this week’s showdown between Schalke and Augsburg. Don’t be blinded by Schalke’s hammering last week, they are a better side and will be pushing hard for the Europa League qualification next year. For Augsburg, they’re too disorganized and too uninspiring to see them get anything from this game. At a plus price at home, Schalke to secure the full three points seems to be a good bet for Sunday.
Prediction: Schalke 2-0