Schalke - Bayern Munich Preview: The fierce rivals lock horns having both posted unbeaten starts
Jupp Heynckes and Huub Stevens will do battle for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, with the pair enjoying identical scorelines in the Champions League this week
By Alec Fenn
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber
Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez
Muller, Kroos, Robben
Howedes, Papadopolous, Matip, Fuchs
Farfan, Holtby, Draxler
It may lack the box office draw of El Clasico or the traditional allure of the Milan derby, but there can be no doubting the scale of the rivalry between Schalke and Bayern Munich.
On Saturday afternoon the pair do battle in Gelsenkirchen, with both sides looking to end one another’s unbeaten start to the campaign.
The Bavarians sit at the top of the Bundesliga and boast a 100 per cent record from their opening three games, while die Konigsblauen reside in fourth spot - just two points behind their fierce rivals.
If last season’s clashes between the pair are anything to go by then the hosts hold the upper hand, having emerged 2-0 victors on both occasions, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer - who traded Schalke for Bayern 15 months ago - yet to concede against his former employers.
But, fresh off the back of a fine 2-1 Champions League win at Olympiakos in midweek - the same scoreline by which Bayern saw off Valencia on Wednesday evening - Huub Stevens’ charges will head into the game full of confidence.
Timo Hildebrand looks to be the only notable absentee from the Schalke squad, with Jermaine Jones a slight doubt, while Bayern will check on the fitness of Franck Ribery after he limped off at half-time on Wednesday evening. Mario Gomez remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- Of their 92 meetings, Jupp Heynckes’ side have won 45 in comparison to Schalke’s 20, with a further 27 encounters ending in draws.
The Bavarians finished nine points ahead of Schalke in the Bundesliga last season and have accrued two points more than their rivals from the opening three league games of the current campaign.
- Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer joined the club from Schalke in June 2011, for a fee of €18 million.
Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar became the first Dutchman to top the Bundesliga goalscoring charts last season, with a haul of 29 goals.
Die Konigsblauen last recorded a win over Bayern in March 2011, when they triumphed 1-0 at the Allianz Arena in the DFB-Pokal. Former striker Raul netted the only goal of the game.
Schalke have won four and drawn one of their opening five contests in all competitions this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Schalke 04 1-2 FC Bayern München
- 16.38 %
Schalke 04 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 14 %
Schalke 04 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 12.48 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 1, 2014||FC Bayern München 5 - Schalke 04 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 21, 2013||Schalke 04 0 - FC Bayern München 4|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 9, 2013||FC Bayern München 4 - Schalke 04 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 22, 2012||Schalke 04 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 26, 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - Schalke 04 0|
|Apr 20, 2014||VfB Stuttgart 3 - Schalke 04 1||GER1|
|Apr 11, 2014||Schalke 04 2 - Eintracht Frankfurt 0||GER1|
|Apr 5, 2014||Werder Bremen 1 - Schalke 04 1||GER1|
|Mar 28, 2014||Schalke 04 2 - Hertha BSC 0||GER1|
|Mar 25, 2014||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Schalke 04 0||GER1|
|17||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|
Huntelaar scored the winning goal against Olympiakos on Tuesday evening and he already has two Bundesliga goals to his name from the opening three league games of the season.
If Schalke are to end Bayern's 100 per cent record, then the Dutchman's eye for goal could well prove to be crucial.
After a frustrating, injury-hit 12 months which culminated in him losing his place in the Germany squad earlier this month, Bastian Schweinsteiger will be hopeful that his goal against Valencia on Wednesday night will kick-start a run of form.
The 28-year-old has added competition in central midfield, following the arrival of Spain international Javi Martinez, but with the pair operating well together in midweek, they look set to become Jupp Heynckes’ first choice partnership.
Schweinsteiger's experience will be key in thwarting the youthful threat posed by Schalke prospects Julian Draxler and Lewis Holtby, in what promises to be an intriguing battle.