Schalke v Bayern Munich - Friday 19:30, BT Sport 2
The second round of Bundesliga fixtures kicks off with Schalke hosting reigning champions Bayern. Both sides started their campaigns in contrasting fashion with Schalke being fortunate to only lose 1-0 to Frankfurt after being dominated for long periods, while Bayern cruised to a 6-0 thumping of Werder Bremen, with it seemingly business as usual for the Bavarians despite their managerial change.
Schalke have finished in the top four in three of the last five seasons but some of their best players have moved on in what has been a busy transfer window. The exciting Sane has gone to Manchester City and his attacking threat will surely be missed, however it is defensively where they looked to have been most affected. First choice centre-backs Matip and Neustadter have left for Liverpool and Fenerbache respectively, with 33-year-old Naldo brought in as a replacement.
These departures are even more surprising given Schalke’s defensive record last season where they shipped 49 goals, the equal-second most in the top-half of the league. They face a Bayern side who aren’t exactly goal-shy having scored at least three times in four of their seven fixtures so far this season. They accumulated 42 points from a possible 48 on the road last term, conceding just nine goals and losing only once.
The head-to-head record between the two sides in the last five seasons is heavily in Bayern’s favour (W8-D2-L0) and it’s very difficult to see anything other than a win for the champions and in all of their eight wins against Schalke they’ve triumphed by more than one goal. Robert Lewandowski bagged a hat-trick in Bayern’s opener against Bremen and he also got on the scoresheet for Poland in their World Cup qualifier, whilst he netted a brace in Bayern’s last meeting with Schalke. As result, we’re backing him to be the first goalscorer.