Bayern Munich v Schalke: Preview, Team News, Predicted XI | Bundesliga 2018-19
The previous weekend's defeat to Bayer Leverkusen saw the defending champions dropping down to third in the Bundesliga table. With 7 points separating the league leaders and Bayern Munich, only a win would keep the Bavarians' hopes of winning the Bundesliga alive.
The Royal Blues, on the other hand, have finally started to find some form after their disastrous start to the season. Schalke had a four-match undefeated run ended by Borussia Monchengladbach in the league last time around but can gain some confidence from their 4-1 victory in the German Cup in midweek against Fortuna Dusseldorf. A win against the Bavarian giants will see the Royal Blues edge closer to the top half of the table.
The first encounter between the sides ended with Bayern Munich winning 2-0 at the Veltins Arena.
Corentin Tolisso is still a long way away from returning to match fitness as the French midfielder continues his rehabilitation after suffering a serious knee injury in September.
Serge Gnabry is expected to be slotted into the starting XI after an impressive show in the German Cup against Hertha Berlin.
Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer remain major doubts after missing the midweek match with the Sven Ulreich once again likely to replace the German No.1 in goal.
Breel Embolo, Steven Skrzybski and Alessandro Schopf remain on the injury table for Schalke with Matija Nastasic joining them after missing the midweek fixture in the German Cup.
Ralf Fahrmann is expected to start in goal after Alexander Nubel was given his marching orders in their last league match against Monchengladbach.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Alaba, Sule, Hummels, Kimmich; Coman, Goretzka, Thiago, Rodriguez, Gnabry; Lewandowski.
Schalke (4-4-2): Fahrmann; Caligiuri, Sane, Nastasic, Oczipka; Serdar, Bentaleb, Rudy, Konoplyanka; Uth, Kutucu.