With both sides woefully out-of-form, football expert Ryan Elliott casts his eye over Union Berlin vs Schalke.
It seems like Schalke are getting worse by the week. David Wagner is looking more and more out-of-his-depth as the weeks go on, as Die Königsblauen continue to lose matches with no sign of recovery.
While there’s no threat of relegation, Schalke simply cannot go on losing game-after-game, and a defeat to Union on Sunday will surely see their season reach its nadir.
Of course, Union, who are in huge relegation bother, must win. Schalke have already lost to Augsburg, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Werder Bremen since the league’s restart—all relegation battlers—so Union failing to win Sunday’s game would be a huge blow.
Of course, Union haven’t pulled up any trees either. Since the Bundesliga came back, they’ve only earned a single point versus struggling Mainz, but there’s no doubt their fixtures have been tougher than Schalke’s; there’s no shame in losing to Hertha, Bayern and Gladbach.
A result looks hard to call with both sides so woefully out of form, but under 2.5 goals at 5/6 looks very generously priced.
Union have scored just twice in their last four games, while Schalke have mustered only one goal which, considering their opponents in recent weeks, is an embarrassment.
Sebastian Andersson of Union is the only out-and-out goalscorer amongst either squad, and with little else in the way of attacking threat likely to be on the pitch, this game will be played with caution at the forefront of both managers’ minds.
Another area of interest here is the bookings market, where Union Berlin defender Marvin Friedrich looks a nice price to be shown a card at 7/2.
Friedrich has been shown seven yellow cards and one red this season, and has now been booked in his last two league games.
Furthermore, with Schalke likely to have much of the ball, coupled with the magnitude of what’s at stake for Union, this seems like a prime candidate for a card-rich game, particularly if the visitors take the lead and frustration starts to mount.