Philippe Coutinho joins defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on loan from Barcelona

Bundesliga: Bolstered Bayern Set Sights on First Win at Schalke

Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich

Neither Schalke nor Bayern Munich made a winning start to the new Bundesliga season. Schalke had a 0-0 stalemate against Borussia Monchengladbach in manager David Wagner’s first match in charge.

Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin defied the Bundesliga 2019 odds as they held Bayern to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern’s superstar striker Robert Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top scorer four out of the last six years, got his campaign off to a fine start with a brace against Hertha. And Bayern’s attack should be even more dangerous with the arrival of their two new loan acquisitions.

As for Schalke, they are hoping to avoid yet another defeat at the hands of the champions, whom they haven’t defeated in nearly a decade.

 

Talking Points

Schalke still a work in progress

Last season was nothing short of disastrous for Schalke. After finishing runners-up to Bayern the previous season, the Royal Blues were stuck near the relegation zone for much of the year. Domenico Tedesco was sacked in March, and interim boss Huub Steves did enough to see them stay up.

New manager David Wagner, formerly of Premier League side Huddersfield, has now taken over the tough task of getting Schalke back up the table. But their opening performance against Gladbach suggests he still has a good deal of work to do to achieve that goal.

Schalke were significantly outshot by Gladbach, 16-8, and had just one shot on target. That’s perhaps not too surprising given that the team has not invested in a proven goalscorer during the transfer window.

Guido Burgstaller has been tasked to lead the line, but it remains to be seen if he’s up to the task. The 30-year-old scored just four goals in 24 Bundesliga appearances last season.

However, it will most likely be the defence which will be put to the test against a Bayern side that will put them under immense pressure.

Schalke were simply horrendous at the Veltins Arena last season. They picked up the fewest points (15) and allowed the second-most goals (28) at home in the Bundesliga.

Bayern’s reinforcements have arrived

As the statistics showed, Bayern Munich dominated and should have won their opening match against Hertha. They had a whopping 70 per cent of possession and had a decided 17-6 advantage in terms of shots.

But despite those impressive-looking numbers, the reigning champions failed to win their opening Bundesliga match for the first time in eight years.

The Bayern attack, which had its share of question marks last season, once again did not impress all that much. It remained a bit too one-dimensional with wide players Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman crossing to Lewandowski in the middle.

Philippe Coutinho hopes to adapt quickly at Bayern Munich and make an impact in Bundesliga

Philippe Coutinho is ready for action after his unveiling at Allianz Arena

But perhaps that’s set to change with the arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona. The Brazilian is just the type of creative midfielder that could give the Bayern attack a bit more variety and should provide a good number of Bundesliga 2019 highlights this season.

Although, this weekend’s match against Schalke might be a bit too early for Coutinho to go straight into the starting XI. But the Brazilian could potentially come on as an impact substitute in case Bayern once again find themselves in some trouble.

Bayern’s other big loan signing, Ivan Perisic, didn’t feature against Hertha and could also make his debut against Schalke. The Croatian spent four years in German — two years apiece with Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg — and should have few problems readjusting to the league.

History

Schalke are among the biggest and most successful club sides in the country, with seven German titles to their name. But over the past few years, they have not been the least bit competitive against Bayern.

The Bavarians have won their last five meetings in a row against Schalke and an astounding 15 out of the last 18. Moreover, they’ve won six of their last seven visits to Schalke by at least two goals, with the Royal Blues scoring just one goal in those seven matches.

Schalke’s last victory against Bayern came all the way back in 2011 in the DFB Pokal and their last home league win was in 2010.

Betting Tip

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Schalke 04 vs Bayern MunichBayern Munich Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 2.11
August 25, 00:30 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds are unsurprisingly tilted heavily toward Bayern. As the lopsided history between the two sides suggests, Schalke doesn’t exactly have much of an advantage at home against the Bavarians. Moreover, the quality of Bayern’s squad is significantly superior to Schalke’s.

That’s why I’m going with Bayern on the Asian Handicap to score a comfortable away win of at least two goals. The champions will be eager to bounce back following their opening weekend setback, and Coutinho’s arrival is sure to add some much-needed spice to the attack.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident)?? = €10 (CONFIDENT)?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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