Our football match prediction:
Salzburg played out a 1-1 draw with Krasnodar in Russia in their last group game, with the team failing to book their place in the Europa League knockout stages. The Red Bulls, though, aim to give fans some cheer and they are likely to take Thursday’s football match against Schalke very seriously. The Austrian team head in to the game following back-to-back wins over the likes of Austria Wien and Rheindorf Altach and we predict that they are going to beat Schalke at their Red Bull Arena. Die Knappen have already got their job done in Group I and there is every chance coach Markus Weinzierl will rest his key players against Salzburg. Schalke suffered a 2-1 loss to Leipzig in their last away game in Bundesliga and, taking everything into account, home win appears on the horizon. Die Knappen outplayed the Red Bulls earlier in the process, meaning that the hosts are hungry for revenge.
Highlighted Player (Julian Draxler):
Julian Draxler is arguably one of the most impressive footballers to have come out of Schalke’s youth academy in recent years and he spent ten years in the academy before he was promoted to the senior side in January 2011. The attacking midfielder soon started showcasing his skills at the biggest stage and just a year later received his first Germany call-up. Draxler scored 18 goals in 119 league appearances for Schalke before moving to Wolfsburg in a high-profile deal in the closing stages of the 2015 summer transfer window. Despite his fragile age, the talented footballer has already made over 15 outings for the Germany national team, making one substitute appearance as Die Mannschaft went on to claim the 2014 World Cup trophy. An exciting player capable of playing on either wing or through the middle, Draxler boasts a good goalscoring record and also regularly creates chances for his teammates, although he has yet to fully realise his potential.
Highlighted Team (Schalke 04):
Schalke 04 are a professional football club founded in 1904. Die Knappen (The Miners) compete in German Bundesliga and they have won seven domestic titles. Schalke have clinched five German Cup trophies as well, while lifting the UEFA Cup title in 1997. The German club defeated Italian side Inter on penalties in the title game and that was the last time the final of the competition was played in a two-legged format. Schalke 04 play their home matches at Veltins-Arena, the stadium that has been the home of the team since 2001. The capacity of Veltins-Arena is 62,271. It is well known that Borussia Dortmund are Schalke’s main rivals and the Ruhy neighbours face each other in the Revierderby. The likes of Klaus Fichtel (477), Norbert Nigbur (355), Rolf Russmann (304), Klaus Fischer (295), Olaf Thon (295) and Herbert Lutkebohmert (286) are the players with most appearances for die Knappen. The colour of Schalke’s home kit is blue.