KO: Saturday, 09.01 @ 20:00 IST
The Royal Blues’ miserable start to the campaign continued on Matchday 14 with a 3-0 loss at Hertha Berlin, meaning they are still rooted to the bottom of the table with just four points. Christian Gross will hope their luck will change in his second game in charge of Schalke, and he can at least can count on Sead Kolasinac bolstering the defense. Kolasinac is available for the first time following his return to Gelsenkirchen on loan from Arsenal, but captain Omar Mascarell is a doubt with a calf problem.
Hoffenheim are not in great form themselves, they have lost three of their last four Bundesliga games. Hoffenheim slipped to 13th in the standings following a 3-1 home defeat against Freiburg. That result was made all the frustrating by the fact that Kevin Akpoguma and Sebastian Rudy were both forced off with injuries inside 17 minutes. Stefan Posch is back from suspension and should replace Akpoguma at right-back, while Rudy – whose knee injury is not as bad as first feared – will also miss out. Against Freiburg, he made way for Dutch youngster Melayro Bogarde, who could continue in that holding midfield role. Croatian attacker Kramaric. meanwhile, has scored five goals in nine appearances against Schalke, so he’ll be confident of adding to his eight league goals so far this season.
Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 0.5