DON’T LOOK DOWN
Schalke fans, brace yourselves, because you’re currently level on points with leaders Gladbach and second in the table only on goal difference. You have Benito Raman and Suat Serdar to thank for that tonight with their goals either side of Marcus Ingvartsen’s penalty for an impressive Union Berlin side who suffer just their second defeat in six games.
SERDAR SNATCHES IT!
Former Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic is caught in possession by Caligiuri and Schalke break. Substitute Ahmed Kutucu squares to Harit, who lays it left to Suat Serdar and the Germany international curls it inside the far post for his fifth of the campaign. That's more than in his previous four Bundesliga seasons combined (four).
EISERNER TAKING AIM
Union have broken their Bundesliga record for shots in an away game having taken 15 so far tonight.
TAKE THE POINT?
We're into the final 15 minutes of this tie and Schalke remain on the front foot. Union have only conceded twice all season after the 76th minute, though, which is the fewest in the league.
ANDERSSON HEADS IT...
But the big striker, whose last three goals have all been headers, can't direct the deep cross past Nübel.
HARIT ON THE STRETCH...
The Moroccan runs onto McKennie's through ball and manages to get a shot away but his momentum takes him into Gikiewicz, who's come out to cover the run. It's his fifth save of the evening but comes at a painful price as he stays down in need of treatment.
CALIGIURI TRIES ONE
Even further out than his first-half effort, the Schalke winger tries to curl another free-kick past Gikiewicz but this time fails to hit the target.
Schalke's top scorer finds space inside the box and gets a shot away but Christopher Lenz does well to get in a block for a corner.
The Union goalkeeper has been much busier this half and he prevents almost a certain goal as he claws the ball away just ahead of the feet of Suat Serdar after a free-kick had bounced across the box.
KABAK TO THE RESCUE!
A goal-saving tackle from Ozan Kabak! Andersson's header is flicked into the path of Bülter, who's ready to pull the trigger from a few yards out until the Turkish defender comes in from the side to pinch the ball away just in time.
The goalscorer tries his luck from a similar range as he found the back of the net, this time Gikiewicz gets firm hands to it.
It's just been announced over the tannoy that the Veltins-Arena is a sell-out tonight with a crowd of 61,837. It's the third time this season Schalke have had a full house.
Schalke are looking much livlier this half and Weston McKennie has a wild crack from 18 yards. It flies well wide but coach David Wagner shows his appreciation at the attack.
The goalscorer is through again following Caligiuri's pass. Gikiewicz is off his line and forces the Belgian wide, making himself big to make a block on a shot. It's a good stop as the offside flag didn't come until he'd made it.
AWAY WE GO AGAIN
We're back underway at the Veltins. Neither side have made a change at the break.
Schalke have seen marginally more of the ball but it's been Union creating the majority of the chances, having 10 efforts on goal to the hosts' three. You feel neither side will be truly happy with the score.
That corner leads to a bit of a scramle inside the box as the ball bounces off all sorts of body parts but refuses to fall to a swinging Royal Blue leg.
DANIEL GOES DIRECT
It's been 73 Bundesliga games since Schalke alast scored from a direct free-kick but Caligiuri tries his luck from some 25 yards. Gikiewicz makes a bit of a hash of it as he attempts to catch and ends up giving away a corner.
Again the striker gets away from his man in the box to meet a Bülter cross from the left, but he fluffs his lines as he looks to sweep it home with his left foot and ends up knocking it wide.
Union will feel that goal is more than deserved based on this first-half performance. They have had six shots on goal to the hosts' one and are seeing a lot more of the ball than they tend to this season with 46% possession (they average just 39%).
TOP CORNER FROM INGVARTSEN
A thumping first Bundesliga penalty from the Union forward, hard and high into the top corner. Nübel guessed correctly to his right but he was never getting to that and Schalke have now conceded from a penalty for the fourth time this season. Only Union's city rivals Hertha have let in more from 12 yards (five).
PENALTY TO UNION!
Robert Andrich is tripped by Nastasic in the box and the visitors have a chance from 12 yards for the fifth time this season - more than any other team.
The big Swede gets his head to Christopher Trimmel's free-kick into the box and forces another good save from the scrambling Nübel.
END OF THE NIGHT FOR SCHLOTTERBECK
The Union defender hurt himself in that collision with Caligiuri and can't continue. On comes Florian Hübner, brother of Hoffenheim's Benjamin, for his first league appearance of the season.
OUT OF NOTHING!
It's Schalke's first shot of the game and it leads straight to a goal. Union never really deal with Caligiuri's free-kick and the ball keeps coming back until a header falls to Benito Raman on the edge of the box and he blasts it into the top corner, meaning he has now had a hand in four goals in his last three games and scored in back-to-back Bundesliga matches for the first time.
SCHLOTTERBECK IN THE BOOK
Perhaps the first Schalke attack of the game as Daniel Caligiuri knocks Jonjoe Kenny’s long ball past Keven Schlotterbeck and he’s blocked by the Union defender, who picks up the first card of the evening.
The home side are yet to find their footing in this game. Union are letting them have the ball but the Royal Blues are yet to string together an attack of note.
That chance was a result of Union's press and they almost capitalise again with the hosts misplacing the ball as they look to play out. Marius Bülter this time with the shot cutting inside from the left but Nübel makes a good save diving to his left.
INGVARTSEN ALMOST POUNCES!
A horror moment for Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nübel as the skipper completely miscues a clearance to Marcus Ingvartsen on the edge of the box. He takes a touch onto his left looking for the far corner but a flying Matija Nastasic manages to block for a corner.
That run of form has given the promoted side a real sense of confidence and they're pressing Schalke very high up the pitch looking to catch them out.
TEAMS IN THE TUNNEL
It's a full house at the Veltins-Arena as the teams prepare to emerge from Schalke's cave-designed tunnel. The players will also pay thanks to volunteers who make these games possible as part of the DFL's annual campaign.
ONLY ONE MEETING
This is of course the first Bundesliga match between Schalke and Union following the latter's maiden promotion to the top flight. They have only met once before, facing off in Berlin back in 2001. However, it came at the Olympiastadion in the final of the DFB Cup as the Royal Blues beat the then third-tier Eisernen 2-0 thanks to a second-half brace from Jörg Böhme.
SPOT ON DAVE
Schalke boss David Wagner was absolutely correct to call Union the form team. No side has won more points over the last five games than Die Eisernen. Only they and Hoffenheim have 12 to their name, but the Berliners boast the better goal difference having conceded a league-low four goals in that period.
AND TWO FOR UNION
Urs Fischer goes for a double change compared to the side that started the win over Gladbach. Robert Andrich is back from his suspension and replaces Felix Kroos in midfield, while Marius Bülter begins for Anthony Ujah despite the latter's goal against the Foals.
ONE CHANGE FOR SCHALKE
Wagner has only made one alteration to the side that beat Bremen last weekm bringing in versatile all-rounder Weston McKennie for the injured Mark Uth. Meanwhile, 22-year-old defender Jonas Carls is in the matchday squad for the first time this season.
WAGNER: "UNION THE IN-FORM TEAM"
Schalke boss David Wagner is certainly taking nothing for granted, especially as the visitors have won four of their last five games: “Union are the in-form team right now. They’ve got a lot of defensive quality and the whole team gets involved in getting back.”
FISCHER: "WE HAVE A CHANCE"
Union may be the underdogs going into this one, but having already beaten Dortmund and Gladbach this term, Schalke would do well to avoid complacency. “It’ll definitely be a very difficult match," said Union head coach Urs Fischer. "If you look at the table, they’d go top of the table with 25 points, so we need to be at our very best on the day. We need to play well and be competitive and give our all for 90 minutes, but we do have a chance.”
SCHALKE STARTING XI:
Nübel (c) – Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka – Serdar, Mascarell – Caligiuri, McKennie, Harit – Raman
Schubert, Miranda, Matondo, Kutucu, Burgstaller, Reese, Carls, Becker, Mercan
UNION STARTING XI:
Gikiewicz – Freidrich, Subotic, Schlotterbeck – Trimmel (c), Gentner, Andrich, Lenz – Ingvartsen, Bülter - Andersson
UNION BERLIN SUBS:
Nicolas, Ryerson, Polter, Ujah, Hübner, Kroos, Schmiedebach, Becker, Parensen
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. Union Berlin from matchday 13 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.