Bayern Munich travel to Gelsenkirchen for their first away game of the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign.
Defending champions Bayern Munich started the new Bundesliga season with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Hertha BSC in the opening weekend.
There is another tough test for the Bavarians today, as they now travel to Westphalia, looking to register their first win this term.
Schalke also earned a point in David Wagner’s first game in charge, noting a goalless draw at Borussia Monchengladbach last Saturday.
Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert will likely be missing due to a hip problem, as well as 19-year-old central defender Ozan Kabak, who signed in a £13.5m transfer deal this summer.
Midfielders Suat Serdar and Nassim Boujellab are fit to face the Bavarians, while defender Salif Sane is a doubt, after suffering a knock in training earlier in the week.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 21, 2019
New signings Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho are in contention to make their debut for the German football champions this weekend.
However, Jerome Boateng, Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez could all miss the trip to Gelsenkirchen due to injury problems.
What did the managers
David Wagner will be looking to win his first game as a Schalke 04 head coach. However, he believes his players will need to play at their best level to make that happen.
“We don’t need to talk about how good Bayern are. There’s always a chance in football, which makes it so exciting. We will only have that chance if we perform to our best though.”
“We are far away from being perfect, but we are making steps in the right direction. I hope we will continue this progress in tomorrow’s game.
“We can’t wait for the match. What’s better than playing Bayern in your first home game of the season?” Wagner said via Schalke’s official twitter account.
📝 Friday auf Schalke:
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) August 23, 2019
Nico Kovac added Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho to the squad this week and is finally happy with the quality of his players.
“We now have a good, flexible squad,” Kovac said at a press conference. “The bosses kept their promise.”
“We played several systems last season,” he added. “It does not depend on the system but on the profiles of players that fill in the positions.
“The 10 is Coutinho’s best position, but he can also play in other positions. Bayern will not align a system only for him and the player himself doesn’t want that either.”
Stats (via Bundesliga)
Schalke were the weakest side at home in the Bundesliga last season (15/51 points) while Bayern were the strongest away (36/51 points).
Robert Lewandowski became the first player to score in the opening game of the season in five consecutive years following his brace last week.
The Poland striker has notched 15 goals in 20 career meetings with Schalke, including at least one in each of their last eight meetings with Bayern in all competitions.
It has been 10 years since Bayern went the first two games of a Bundesliga season without winning, and 20 years since they only had one point after their first two outings.
Bayern have won seven of their last eight Bundesliga games in Schalke, scoring 19 goals and conceding just two.