Schalke v Bayer Leverkusen – Veltins-Arena at 19:30 Live at BT sport
Former coaching badge classmates Julian Nagelsmann and Domenico Tedesco met at the Rhein-Neckar Arena last weekend as Hoffenheim took on Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Hoffe ran out 2-0 winners but Nagelsmann later admitted his team’s victory was a little flattering and the Royal Blues should be proud of their performance. Tedesco took the praise but was well aware successive defeats against two of the league’s leading three sides despite playing well meant little to most.
Schalke are value
However, the Schalke boss has plenty to be positive about. There’s been an overreaction to the recent defeats but back in Gelsenkirchen on Friday night, Tedesco’s troops appear good value to get back to winning ways having already seen off RB Leipzig and Stuttgart convincingly at the Veltins Arena.
Schalke were 4-1 winners at Bayer Leverkusen towards the end of last season and although Die Werkself are finding their feet following a transitional summer, the Royal Blues should be backed off a scratch 0 Asian Handicap at 1.830.
Leverkusen in transition
Leverkusen was one of the most disappointing teams last season, not only in Germany but across all the major leagues in Europe. With no European competition for the first time in eight years, this season has looked like a rebuilding job from the outset.
Hakan Calhanoglu, Omer Toprak, and Chicharito have all moved on whilst Kevin Kampl and the disappointing Aleksandar Dragovic have also followed out of the exit door. New coach Heiko Herrlich, known for his hustle and bravery as a player at the club in the 90s, has returned as coach to oversee the new era.
Herrlich was in charge of Jahn Regensburg in the third tier last season, who he led to promotion. However, he did that despite a defensive record that saw them concede as many goals as rock bottom FSV Frankfurt in that division.
A forward-thinking approach will be Bayer’s main aim this term and should they be able to field a fully fit Karim Bellarabi, Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland, they’ll certainly have the tools to fight fire with fire in the Bundesliga this season.
Slow Bayer start and a wretched road record
However, an underwhelming start and the shabby loss at Mainz that followed the international break hasn’t pleased supporters. Leverkusen has impressed in their last two performances at the Bay Arena but their W0-D0-L3 record on the road has seen the visitors ship at least two goals on each occasion and their return at top-half teams is alarming enough to oppose them here.
Die Werkself have W1-D1-L9 at top-half teams since the start of last season, so with Schalke seemingly on the up and improving under Tedesco, the hosts make plenty of appeal at kind prices. The home side has W18-D10-L9 at the Veltins Arena since 2015/16 and our angle of attack keeps the draw onside.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Schalke DNB at 1.830
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