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Bundesliga

  • February 4, 2012
  • • 14:30
  • • Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen
  • Referee: D. Aytekin
  • • Attendance: 60557
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Bundesliga Preview: Schalke - Mainz

Bundesliga Preview: Schalke - Mainz

Bongarts

Konigsblauen skipper Benedikt Howedes returns to face Thomas Tuchel's outfit, who are a mere three points away from the Bundesliga's drop zone


PROBABLE LINEUPS

SCHALKE

Schalke
Unnerstall
Howedes, Papadopoulos, Metzelder, Fuchs
Hoger, Matip
Obasi, Raul, Draxler
Huntelaar

MAINZ


Wetklo
Pospech, Bungert, Noveski, Fathi
Kirchhoff, Polanski, Soto
N. Muller
Szalai, Choupo-Moting



The big news for the hosts is that captain Benedikt Howedes has returned to the side after recovering from a fractured cheekbone incurred in late January when the Germany international clashed with team-mate Marco Hoger.

However, the bad news for Huub Stevens is that Lewis Holtby, Peer Kluge and Ralf Fahrmann remain sidelined, while Jermaine Jones must miss this one out due to suspension.

For Mainz, Bo Svensson, Stefan Bell and Marcel Risse are all out through injury, while Tunisia striker Sami Allagui is unavailable for selection due to being at the Africa Cup of Nations.


DID YOU KNOW
  • Historically, Schalke are superior to Mainz at both home and away. In 11 encounters so far between the two sides, Schalke have won seven times, lost three and drawn once.
  • Last season, Mainz had their first success at the Veltins-Arena after six consecutive losses. Lewis Holtby, who is now a Schalke a player, was one of the scorers in the 1-3 on that day.
  • Coincidentally, another player who was at Mainz last season and now plays for Schalke, Christian Fuchs, is the only player in the host team who has featured in every minute of his club's 19 Bundesliga matches this campaign.
  • Mainz are the only team in the German top flight to have gone on to lose a match after going 2-0 up this season. Any guesses as to who it was against? Exactly – Schalke won 4-2 at the Coface Arena back in August.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar could become the fifth non-German player – and the 20th Schalke player – to score more than 25 Bundesliga goals. Currently on 24, the Dutchman is closely followed by Raul (23) and Jefferson Farfan (22).

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
36Lars UnnerstallGoalkeeper
4Benedikt HöwedesDefender
14Kyriakos PapadopoulosDefender
23Christian FuchsDefender
32Joel MatipDefender
12Marco HögerMidfielder
19Chinedu Ogbuke ObasiStriker
10Julian DraxlerMidfielder
7RaúlStriker
9Ciprian MaricaStriker
25Klaas-Jan HuntelaarStriker
30Timo HildebrandGoalkeeper
3Sergio EscuderoDefender
21Christoph MetzelderDefender
17Jefferson Agustin FarfánStriker
18JuradoMidfielder
8Christoph MoritzMidfielder
20Teemu PukkiStriker
29Christian WetkloGoalkeeper
3Zdenek PospechDefender
4Nikolce NoveskiDefender
5Radoslav ZabavnikDefender
15Jan KirchhoffDefender
26Niko BungertDefender
33Marco CaligiuriMidfielder
8Eugen PolanskiMidfielder
19Elkin SotoMidfielder
10Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingStriker
35Mohamed ZidanStriker
33Heinz MüllerGoalkeeper
3Malik FathiDefender
11Yunus MalliMidfielder
14Julian BaumgartlingerMidfielder
27Nicolai MüllerMidfielder
-Anthony UjahStriker
-Deniz YılmazStriker
Players to Watch
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
2 1 0 0
The in-form Netherlands striker could make history with a pair of goals on Saturday, so keep an eye on him exploiting a back line whose last competitive clean sheet was in the DFB Pokal last October.
Christian Wetklo
Christian Wetklo
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 29
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 32-year-old will undoubtedly have to be on his feet against a goal-hungry Schalke side. It should be interesting to see how well he communicates with his defenders and, inevitably, deal with shots that are struck his way.
Prediction
Schalke have won their last five home games, while Mainz have drawn three and lost two of their last five away fixtures. The hosts are in good form at the moment, and visiting fans shouldn't put too much hope into getting much needed points from this one.
Editor's Prediction
Mainz 1

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