FIVE-STAR HOFFENHEIM PERFORMANCE
A clinical away showing from Hoffenheim as they take all three points from Schalke after scoring five goals. Belfodil at the heart of things once again, in the form of his career to help his side go within two points of Eintracht Frankfurt in the final UEFA Champions League qualification spot. Schalke, on the other hand, are six points clear of VfB Stuttgart in the relegation play-off spot with four nervy games to play.
BURGSTALLER BAGS A CONSOLATION
Embolo's lovely flick from Carls' ball into the middle plays Burgstaller in on goal, and he neatly tucks the ball past Baumann to give Schalke a second goal of the night.
GOAL!2 : 5
BURGSTALLER HITS ONE OVER
Very disappointing from the Austrian, who times his run from another set-piece perfectly to meet Caligiuri's ball in, but he goes for goal with his right foot when it would have been better to use his left. Because of that, he couldn't control the ball to put it on target, and intstead watched it fly high over the crossbar.
BELFODIL COMPLETES HIS BRACE
Demirbay's cross to the back post as he's falling is superb, and Belfodil's run matches it for the Algerian to be able to tap home with a nutmeg on Nübel to add insult to injury. His seventh goal in just four games, and 15 for the season for Belfodil.
GOAL!1 : 5
SERDAR CLIPS THE POST
Played in on goal with a defender for company, Serdar shoots at Baumann's net from the edge of the box. He doesn't get the contact he wanted and it flies towards the near post, clipping the outisde of it and heading out for a goal kick in the end.
AMIRI STARTS IT AND FINISHES IT
The German U21 interntional steals the ball from Mascarell's feet and races towards goal. He plays in Kramaric on the left, who cuts inside a defender in the box before playing it back across goal for Amiri to tap into an empty net. A 4-1 lead for Nagelsmann's merciless side.
GOAL!1 : 4
SZALAI HEADS HOME!
A first goal for Szalai since October has restored Hoffenheim's two-goal lead. Belfodil had time and space to cross into the box from the right wing, and the Hungarian striker met the ball to head it at goal, with Nübel unable to keep it out despite his best efforts.
GOAL!1 : 3
YOU DON'T SAVE THOSE
Daniel Caligiuri smashes home the penalty to give Schalke hope here with half an hour to play. Plenty of time for the home side to stage a fantastic second half comeback.
GOAL!1 : 2
Embolo is about to shoot at goal in the Hoffenheim box, but is fouled by Kaderabek.
CALIGIURI FORCES A SAVE
Another set-piece from the full-back, but this time he goes for goal himself. His curler towards the back post is tipped wide.
HOFFENHEIM CLEAR OFF THE LINE
Caligiuri's set-piece is blocked high into the air, and McKennie is underneath it to head it back towards goal. Again it goes high, though, and the Hoffenheim has time to get under it on the goal-line and head the ball clear of danger. Schalke starting far better in this second half.
No changes at the break from either side, but Schalke will need some changes to get this game back on in the second half.
CLINICAL HOFFENHEIM CRUISING HOME
It doesn't look as if Schalke are going to be able to pull this game back, unless a lot of things change in the second half. Two chances and two goals for the away side with two clinical finish, from two superb, in-form strikers.
KRAMARIC MAKES IT TWO!
Fantastic through ball from Demirbay as he got space from the Schalke midfield. Kramaric timed his run perfectly and latched onto the ball before finding the bottom corner beyond Nübel's reach.
GOAL!0 : 2
SCHALKE NOT TESTNG BAUMANN
The home side are seeing good amounts of the ball in the Hoffenheim half, but aren't creating chances for shots on goal in the last 10 minutes or more. Openings are coming, but the chances have to be taken at this stage of the season for Huub Stevens' side.
SCHALKE GO CLOSE
Burgstaller must have heard a call from behind him to leave the ball, as it looked as if he was destined to at least get the ball on target. The ball came forward down the right and Serdar cut it back into the box. Burgstaller was going to shoot on goal, but he left it for Embolo, who then had his shot blocked.
BELFODIL SMASHES HOME!
Stunning strike from Belfodil who scores his sixth goal in four games. He nutmegs Nastasic on the edge of the box before lacing the ball past Nübel at his near-post with a rocket of a shot.
GOAL!0 : 1
BURGSTALLER GOES CLOSE
Caligiuri's set-piece is flicked on by Burgstaller in a Bundesliga logo-style pose, and the ball drifts towards Baumann's goal, but just wide in the end. The home side now growing into this game.
GRILLITSCH FIRES WIDE
The ball comes to the midfielder on the edge of the box and he goes for goal, despite having Belfodil running in behind the Schalke defence. Nübel watches on as the ball bounces past his goal.
BOTH SIDES SET UP WELL AGAINST EACH OTHER
Hoffenheim have had most of the ball here, as you'd expect from the possession-based side. But Schalke's shape has been fantastic and has squashed any chance the visitors have had of breaking through on goal. And Schalke themselves have looked far better on the ball than in recent weeks.
SLOW START HERE
Both sides getting forward with the ball and creating half chances with crosses into the box, but neither goalkeeper has had to work so far at the Veltins-Arena.
UNDERWAY IN SCHALKE
We're underway for the final game of the day in the Bundesliga.
Weston McKennie returns to the starting line-up for the hosts here after a month on the sidelines - he hasn't played since a 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig on Matchday 26 on 16 March. Furthermore, Suat Serdar is back following suspension, while 22-year-old Jonas Carls makes his professional debut.
HISTORY BECKONS FOR HOFFENHEIM
Hoffenheim have not conceded a goal in 253 minutes of Bundesliga action. The team's record under Nagelsmann is 255 minutes, set in the 2016/17 season, while the club's all-time record is 312 minutes (in 2010/11). That means that if Hoffenheim can make it to the hour-mark without conceding, they will set a new club best-mark today.
HOFFENHEIM STARTING LINE-UP!
Baumann – Bicakcic, Vogt (c), Hübner – Kaderabek, Demirbay, Grillitsch, Amiri, Schulz – Belfodil, Kramaric (SUBS: Stolz, Brenet, Nelson, Bittencourt, Adams, Szalai, Posch)
SCHALKE STARTING LINE-UP!
Nübel – Stambouli (c), Sane, Nastasic – Mascarell – Caligiuri, Serdar, McKennie, Carls – Burgstaller, Embolo (SUBS: Fähmann, Rudy, Matondo, Oczipka, Harit, Bruma, Boujellab)
HOFFENHEIM TO PLAY IN ORANGE KITS
The visitors have confirmed that they will wear their third kit today - a delightful orange number - in order to avoid confusion with Schalke. The hosts play in blue and white, which are the colours of Hoffenheim's regular home and away kits.
HOFFENHEIM ON A RUN
Julian Nagelsmann's side are this season's draw specialists: no other team has drawn more than their return of 11 so far this season, while they shared the points in six consecutive games between Matchdays 12 and 17. However, they have found their mojo of late, scoring 13 goals in their last five games, of which they have won four and drawn one. Leverkusen's win over Nuremberg earlier today means Hoffenheim need to win to reclaim sixth spot in the table
STEVENS: "WE NEED OUR SCHALKE VIRTUES"
Schalke interim boss Huub Stevens issued a rallying cry to his squad ahead of this game. "I've seen positive signs from the team this week," said the 65-year-old. "Anyone who hasn't understood the situation we're in by now won't ever understand it. Now we have to leave [recent results] behind us and, with the fans behind us, play well here. We need to do so with our Schalke virtues, which are needed more than ever in our current situation."
NAGELSMANN: "SCHALKE ARE STILL A GOOD TEAM"
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann gave his thoughts on the Royal Blues' current plight at his pre-match press conference on Thursday; "Schalke aren't in great shape at the moment and aren't playing with a great deal of confidence. They've got their backs to the wall, which is always dangerous for their opponents. We don't want to allow the game to get too emotional; we want to be as dominant as we have been in the past few weeks. Schalke finished as runners-up last year with an almost identical side, so they're still a good team. We need to win in order to keep up the pressure on the other teams."
The teams have met 22 times in all competitions so far, with each winning eight and drawing six. Hoffenheim haven't won at the Veltins Arena since 2013, though.
HOFFENHEIM EYEING EUROPE
Schalke will have their work cut out for them today, as Hoffenheim are one of the most in-form teams in the Bundesliga at present having taken 13 points from the last 15 available. Julian Nagelsmann's side also have their sights set on qualifying for the UEFA Europa League next season, so need a win here to keep pace with Bayer Leverkusen, who are currently in sixth.
MUST-WIN FOR SCHALKE
Augsburg's thrashing of VfB Stuttgart earlier today was both a blessing and a curse for Schalke, as they are sandwiched between those two teams near the foot of the table. On the one hand, they will be happy 16th-placed Stuttgart dropped points, keeping the Royal Blues' six-point cushion above the relegation play-off spot. On the other hand, the result means they're now four points behind Augsburg in 14th, so they have to pick up points here if they're to pull even further away from the drop zone.
SATURDAY LATE KICK-OFF?
This game is taking place at an unfamiliar time today due to scheduling restrictions. German law prohibits matches being played on Good Friday, which is why this weekend's fixtures have been rejigged, with one game also being held on Monday evening.
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. Hoffenheim from matchday 30 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.