Football expert Ryan Elliott has picked out two tips for Sunday's game between Schalke and Augsburg.
Kicking-off Sunday’s action we have Schalke, fresh from their drubbing at the hands of Dortmund last week, entertaining an Augsburg side who conceded a stoppage-time winner against Wolfsburg which saw their cushion above the relegation play-off shrink to just four points.
In term of finding value, this one is a little tricky. Both sides looked pretty unfit on their return last week, but while Augsburg acquitted themselves better than Schalke, David Wagner’s side were up against a phenomenal Borussia Dortmund side, so it’s a little unfair to write them off for the rest of the season based off that.
It’s tough to make a case for Augsburg in this one. While these extraordinary times will likely throw up some interesting results, Fuggerstädter haven’t beaten Schalke in the league since 2015—losing four of the eight games since—and for that reason, I quite like the look of Schalke to win by one goal at 3/1.
The hosts aren’t much going forward—evidenced by their paltry tally of just 33 goals—but they’ve still been relatively good at the back, barring a few hammerings from the big boys, although their goalkeeper situation must be sorted, with Markus Schubert both looking suspect at times while Alexander Nubel is out of favour following his pre-contract agreement with Bayern.
However, Augsburg have the third-weakest defence in the league (conceding a whopping 54 times), and that’s simply not sustainable if they wish to comfortably remain in the division. Even goal-shy Schalke will fancy their chances against that sort of defence.
Schalke beat Augsburg 3-2 earlier in the season; indeed, five of their last six wins against them have been by just a single goal.
Whatever the result, it’ll be fairly close, but Schalke’s superior quality to narrowly tell on Sunday looks a solid value play.
There’s also value in backing the second half to see the highest number of goals.
67% of Schalke’s goals this season have come in the second half of matches, as well as a whopping 70% of their goals conceded.
Augsburg have also conceded 69% of their goals in the second half of matches this season.
This won’t be most exciting, high-quality fixture of the weekend, and there’s every chance this will result in a very quiet first half.