MATCHDAY 29 of Bundesliga continues on Saturday afternoon as Schalke host Werder Bremen. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) shares his research.
Schalke v Werder Bremen | Saturday 30th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Schalke’s slump continued with a 2-1 away defeat at Fortuna Dusseldorf on Wednesday, so the pressure continues to mount on David Wagner. Die Knappen are now winless in 10. And they’ve scored just three while conceding 19 proving their inability to defend combined with a toothless frontline. The Gelsenkirchen outfit remains without Suat Serdar and Amine Harit, plus Benito Raman is a doubt due to a knock.
Are Werder Bremen starting to turn a corner? After a bit of a horror show on their return against an irresistible Bayer Leverkusen, Florian Kohfeldt’s side has picked up four points.
A win against Freiburg and the midweek point versus Gladbach gives them hope and it’s seen them reduce the gap to Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off to just two points. Milos Veljkovic is suspended for this trip, while Davie Selke could replace Josh Sargent upfront.
Goals in short supply
Many will point to all three of Schalke’s games going Over 2.5 Goals since the return, but they’ve failed to score in two of them, and when they did it was from a set-piece. Markus Schubert in between the sticks for the hosts has been a weak link and has been culpable for some of the goals they’ve conceded – and his presence is surely something that will concern Schalke fans.
Here they come up against a side battling for their top-flight status and Bremen have kept consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2018. WhoScored break down the method of goals scored for each club and only Union Berlin (12) rank lower than these two sides for goals in open play – Schalke have netted 17 with Bremen two fewer.
Things don’t look great when you look at the scoring records of the forwards that could line-up. Milot Rashica is now 12 league games without a goal for Die Werderaner, while Wagner’s forward options of Guido Burgstaller, Ahmed Kutucu and Rabbi Matondo have bagged just four goals between them.
With the visitors battling survival, they’ll look to nullify this blunt looking Schalke side, so there’s a distinct possibility of Under 2.5 Goals at 10/11.
Schalke to monopolise possession
Despite being well beaten on the scoreline against Augsburg, Schalke dominated the ball with 71% possession. Here at the Veltins-Arena, Schalke average 52% possession compared to Bremen, who average 45.2% on the road. That opens up the angles for looking at the Schalke passing lines.
Against Augsburg, Matija Nastasić topped the passing charts with 94 completed from 108 attempted. The former Man City defender has attempted 70 or more passes in six of his last nine appearances. Coral and Ladbrokes count intentional passes in their tallies and their bars look quite fair.
The Serbian needs 60+ passes for a near-evens price (19/20), while the 65 looks even more enticing at 29/20 and the 70 at 23/10 will attract some.
Klaassen the key
Dutchman Davy Klaassen will be remembered by many for his failed spell at Goodison Park that saw him make just seven appearances for Everton. But he’s the key man that makes this Bremen side tick and has been instrumental over their last couple of games. In his last three matches, the 27-year-old has recorded seven shots, at least two per game.
Looking at his shot map, there are a few angles you can take with this. It’s 6/4 with the Ladbrokes Bet Builder feature that he has two shots, which looks very attractive. It’s 5/4 with the same firm he has a shot on target and that’s something he’s achieved in those three games.
If Schalke do manage to defend well and restrict Bremen to shots from distance, then Klaassen is one to chance his arm. In the away games at Hertha and Freiburg, three of his five shots have been from outside the area. You can get 21/20, again with Ladbrokes, on one shot from outside the box and a massive 11/2 for two-plus.
So, there are some potential angles regarding shots and Klaassen. He’s more than capable of hitting that two mark, which I’m willing to take.
If going with any of these bets team news will be key, especially with managers likely to rotate following the midweek matches.