Schalke will be keen to put their Europa League disappointment behind them and revive hopes of playing in Europe again next season when they host high-flying RB Leipzig in the weekend’s final fixture on Sunday (kick-off 17:30CEST/15:30GMT).
The Royal Blues suffered extra-time defeat to Ajax on Thursday night, falling two steps short of a fist European title since 1997. Now they have a challenge on their hands trying to sneak into the Europa League again next season and tiredness could be an issue for Markus Weinzierl after a draining 120 minutes in midweek. Rotation is likely with Coke, who was cup-tied on Thursday, coming back in and Benedikt Höwedes also expected to be fit. Sead Kolasinac may not be available, however.
Leipzig need just two wins from their final five games to secure a place in the group stage of the Champions League and they will look to pick up one of those in Gelsenkirchen. Their coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has no injury worries and tiredness should not be an issue either with no midweek European football – yet.
Schalke: Fährmann – Coke, Höwedes (c), Badstuber, Kolasinac – Stambouli, Bentaleb – Caliguiri, Meyer – Huntelaar, Burgstaller
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Absentees: Baba (knee), Kehrer (suspended), Naldo (groin), Choupo-Moting (knee), Embolo (light training)
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Bernardo, Orban (c), Compper, Halstenberg – Demme, Keita – Forsberg, Sabitzer – Werner, Poulsen
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Absentees: Klostermann (knee)
- Promoted Leipzig will be in Europe next season. Fourth place is secured, and automatic Champions League qualification is only six points away with Hoffenheim and Dortmund playing each other before the end.
- Naby Keita has four goals in his last four games, which is as many as he managed in his first 22 Bundesliga appearances.
- Schalke have just 37 points on the board after 29 games, which is their worst return for 17 years. They last had fewer in 1999/2000 (36).
- The Royal Blues set a new record last time out with 26 shots on goal against Darmstadt, but still left with no points.
- RB Leipzig (1 game), Preußen Münster, Stuttgarter Kickers and SSV Ulm (2 games) are the only sides Schalke have never beaten in the Bundesliga. RBL are the only side the Royal Blues are yet to take a point off.
- Guido Burgstaller faced Leipzig three times in the Bundesliga 2 with Nürnberg and had a hand in three goals (2 scored, 1 assist). All six of his Bundesliga goals for Schalke have come at home.
- ^ Click here to make sure your Official Fantasy Bundesliga team is in order for Matchday 30! (fantasy.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Benedikt Höwedes (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Sead Kolasinac (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Click here to download the Official Bundesliga App for free! (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Guido Burgstaller (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Head to the Match Centre for more on this fixture. (www.bundesliga.com)