Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Venue: Ljudski vrt stadium, Maribor
Kick off time: 19:45 hrs BST
Schalke will be travelling to Maribor in midweek as the Germans go in search of a positive result in the Champions League.
The minimum that Roberto Di Matteo’s side need at this time is a victory and hope that Chelsea do them a favour by beating Sporting Lisbon in the other Group G fixture. Schalke are 3rd with 5 points from 5 games. Maribor are out of the running with 3 from 5 games. A win though, will see them enter the knock-out stages of the Europa League.
Maribor’s form: W-L-W-W-W
The hosts have won four of their last five games in all competitions. The loss had come in the Champions League trip to Portugal, as they went down 3-1 to Sporting Lisbon. Nani was in his elements for the Portuguese giants on the day and there was little resistance from this side.
They will be confident ahead of this one though, with the side winning three on the bounce since the last match in Europe. The have scored 11 goals in their last 3 games, conceding 5 at the same time. This upcoming game should be an exciting one in terms of goals.
Schalke’s form: L-W-L-W-W
The side have recovered in the Bundesliga following the arrival of Champions League winning manager Di Matteo. The Italian has been able to galvanize his side to start performing like a good team such as them should.
Following a 5-0 humbling in front of their home fans by his former employers, Chelsea, Schalke responded with a couple of big wins in the Bundesliga. The side won the next game 4-1 at home against Mainz and followed it up with a 4-0 demolition of Stuttgart away from home.
Maribor: Marcos Tavares has scored 10 in 18 games for the hosts and he will be their best hope for a goal against Schalke.
Schalke: Netherlands striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored a hattrick against Mainz and was rested for this upcoming game by his coach. The man is a clinical finisher and will hope to make the difference on Wednesday night.
Expect a goal fest with Schalke definitely the team to beat. The Germans should win this game comfortably though and the advice is to back the visitors at 1.85 with bet365 to beat the hosts. Get on quick though as this price will shorten as we approach kick off.