Schalke were handed only their 3rd league defeat of the season as they came away from Borussia Monchengladbach with 0 points and a red card whilst Ingolstadt suffered a 3rd 1-0 defeat, this time Hertha BSC inflicting the narrow loss.
Schalke could have no complaints as they went down to a defeat as Gladbach outplayed them for large periods of the game. Ralf Fahrmann has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga this season and saved a first half penalty but couldn’t prevent the rebound from being diverted in. Wasted chances at the start of second half were punished and further problems as Johannes Geis was handed a straight red card for an abysmal tackle on Andre Hahn that earned him a 5 match ban. The ‘Knappenschmiede’ youth academy has been hailed this season with the likes of Max Meyer and Leroy Sane the latest beneficiaries of the prestigious academy at Schalke but even the 2 prodigy’s couldn’t prevent Schalke from suffering a 3rd straight defeat at Gladbach after defeats in 2013 and 2014. It has implications on teams around them despite remaining in 3rd place as Dortmund have gone 4 points clear in 2nd whilst all 4 teams below them gained ground with victories.
Ingolstadt continue to be labelled as the boring side of the Bundesliga this season but they won’t care in their debut season in the top-flight of German football. Just 14 goals have been scored in 10 league matches involving Ingolstadt but that has earned them 4 victories. They’ll be bitterly disappointed at losing to Hertha BSC as they were the better team but couldn’t take any of the 18 shots on goal they had. Ingolstadt were the top goal scorers in the 2.Bundesliga last year but so far have managed just 6 goals in 10 league matches, 3 goals short of the least potent teams above them (Augsburg, Hamburg and Hannover). Defensively however they’ve been immense shipping just 8 goals but back-to-back defeats for the first time in the league for over 2 years might slowly deteriorate their confidence.
It will be the first ever meeting between Schalke and Ingolstadt and the visitors will try not to be overshadowed by the Veltins-Arena. With over 60,000 spectators the Schalke fans will provide a hostile atmosphere and the Ingolstadt players could be overawed by the occasion. Schalke are very dominant at home, having 62.5% possession and 18.6 shots per game on average. Ingolstadt have only suffered 1 defeat away from home and that was against Stuttgart recently and seem to play without any expectations which could well cause an upset on Saturday. Mathew Leckie has the most unsuccessful dribbles in the Bundesliga with 31 in total and Ingolstadt will demand more out of their Australian winger.
Schalke have a number of defenders missing through injury with Felipe Santana, Matija Nastasic and Atsuto Uchida all carrying long term injuries. Johannes Geis will be missing for the next 5 domestic games and misses not only the Ingolstadt game but also crucial games against Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen coming up.
Stats: W-6 L-3 D-1
Recent Form - WLWDL
Stats: W-4 L-4 D-2
Recent Form – LDWLL
No previous meetings
Schalke (4-4-2) – Fahrmann, Reither, Howedes, J.Matip, Aogo, Hojbjerg, Goretzka, Sane, Meyer, Hunterlaar, Di Santo
Ingolstadt (4-5-1) – Ozcan, Levels, M.Matip, Hubner, Suttner, Bergerie, Christiansen, Morales, Gross, Hinterseer, Leckie
Injury List/Suspended Players
Schalke – Uchida (inj), Nastastic (inj), Santana (inj), Hoger (inj)
Ingolstadt – Cohen (inj), Lex (inj), Bernardo (inj)