Schalke will aim to salvage what has been a desperately disappointing season on Thursday night against Ajax, but they need a big performance at home to have any hope of staying in the Europa League.
The Germans have been regular participants in the Champions League over the last decade but now face the prospect of no European football next term, given their lowly 11th position in the Bundesliga table. Their only hope is to win the Europa League, but they must turn around a 2-0 first leg defeat against an Ajax side who are in-form and scoring goals.
The Dutch giants were dominant at the Amsterdam ArenA last week and in truth should have been taking a bigger lead to Gelsenkirchen, with Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann in inspired form. The Germans however boast a strong home record in this season's competition and are unbeaten in the Veltins Arena, with Betfair offering a home win at 9/10 (1.90).
Of course Schalke know they must score at least twice to have any hope of progressing, although a goal for Ajax would leave the hosts needing to score four times. In truth, it is difficult to find any reason to back Markus Weinzierl's side.
In all competitions, Schalke have won just three of their last 14 matches, while their last two home matches in the Europa League have ended 1-1 and a repeat scoreline is available at 13/2 (7.50). Both teams to score, meanwhile, is priced at 61/100 (1.61) yet the bold money should probably be going on the visitors and the price of 10/3 (4.33) for Ajax to score in both halves might appeal.
The Eredivisie outfit were so clearly superior in the first leg, that backing them to score at least twice in Germany also looks attractive at 9/5 (2.80) although Schalke have not conceded twice at home since September.
For our purposes, however, we will take both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at 19/20 (1.95) - a selection which has paid out in four of Ajax's last six away games in the competitions, and one which looks like having a good chance of doing so once more on Thursday.