Augsburg vs. Schalke: probable line-ups, match stats and LIVE blog!
American duo Weston McKennie and Haji Wright could start a Bundesliga game together for the first time when Schalke travel to faltering Augsburg on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm CET/ 2.30pm GMT/ 9.30am ET).
Augsburg have slipped to within three points of the relegation play-off place, on the back of an eight-game winless run. Manuel Baum’s side have lost their last four on the spin, and could drop into the bottom three if results don’t go their way this weekend. Leading scorer Alfred Finnbogason went off an hour into the 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, but the Iceland striker isn’t thought to be at risk of missing out against Schalke. Jonathan Schmid is an alternative to Raphael Framberger at right-back after dropping to the bench in recent weeks, while Felix Götze and Jan Moravek are expected to be available following injury.
Schalke go into the contest still smarting from their Revierderby defeat to arch rivals Borussia Dortmund. To make matters worse, the Royal Blues lost Guido Burgstaller to injury in that game, the Austrian joining fellow strikers Franco Di Santo, Breel Embolo, Steven Skrzybski and Mark Uth in a somewhat oversubscribed treatment room. That leaves Wright and Cedric Teuchert as the only remaining out-and-out forwards in the squad, although McKennie has filled in as a second striker in recent weeks. Midfielders Amine Harit, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Alessandro Schöpf are also capable of doing a job up front. Benjamin Stambouli is expected to come in for suspended centre-back Matija Nastasic.
Watch: Weston McKennie is hopeful Haji Wright will get more first-team chances at Schalke
- Finnbogason has the second best goals-per-game ratio (1.0) of any player in the Bundesliga this season, behind only Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer (1.11).
- Baum is yet to pick up a single point in three attempts against Schalke as coach.
- Andre Hahn and Marco Richter are Augsburg’s leading assist providers this season with three each, one more than Philipp Max, who led the way for the club in that regard last term (12).
- McKennie has one goal in 11 Bundesliga appearances in 2018/19.
- The Royal Blues have been awarded a league-leading five penalties this term. Nabil Bentaleb has converted all three he has taken, while Daniel Caligiuri has scored and one missed one.
- Schalke are unbeaten in their last five games against Augsburg, picking up four points from their last four trips to the WWK Arena.
Augsburg: Luthe – Framberger, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Max – Khedira, Baier (c) – Hahn, Gregoritsch, Caiuby – Finnbogason
Out: Jakob (knee)
Doubtful: Götze (concussion), Moravek (calf)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Caigiuri, Stambouli, Sane, Oczipka – Schöpf, Rudy, Bentaleb, Harit – McKennie – Burgstaller
Out: Embolo (foot), Nastasic (suspended), Mendyl (ankle)
Doubtful: Di Santo (knee), Konoplyanka (knee), Skrzybski (chest), Uth (hamstring)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco