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And we’re off again! No changes from either side at the break.
DESERVED WIN FOR SCHALKE
After an evenly balanced first half, Schalke were on top for the majority of the second and after Serdar's brilliant opener they never looked like relinquishing their lead. Debutant Gregoritsch crowned an excellent display with a goal that moves the Royal Blues up to fourth, level on 33 points with Bayern Munich and just two behind Gladbach.
FOUR MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME
Schalke continue to wind the clock down, so late drama looks very unlikely here.
STANDING OVATION FOR GREGORITSCH
The Schalke attacker is taken off and makes way for Burgstaller. The Veltins Arena crowd rises to their feet in appreciation of his contribution this evening.
SCHALKE SHUTTING UP SHOP
With the onus on Gladbach to come at them and score, the hosts are happy to sit deeper now and see the game out. They're packing the midfield and defence to deny their visitors any rooom to work in and will surely take all three points here.
NICE SKILL FROM NEUHAUS
The Gladbach midfielder shows off his quick footwork in the middle of the park, around 30 yards out, to shuffle between two opposition players and dart into space. He shapes to shoot but doesn't catch the ball cleanly and the chance goes begging.
NO WAY THROUGH FOR GLADBACH
The Foals are trying to get things going in the attacking third, but things just aren't clicking for them today. Schalke just look a yard sharper and more aggressive and are keeping them at arm's length right now.
CHANCE FOR WENDT!
The Gladbach left-back has a brilliant opportunity to get his side back in the game after Lainer's sweeping cross-field pass finds him unmarked at the back post. He only has Schubert to beat from around 10 yards out, but opts to pull the ball back instead of shooting and his pass is intercepted!
RECORD OF SORTS FOR HERRMANN
The Gladbach midfielder was taken off a few moments ago, meaning he has been subbed off the pitch 141 times over the course of his career - more than any other player in Bundesliga history.
FRESH LEGS FOR SCHALKE
Raman, who has made more sprints (41) than anyone else on the pitch, is taken off for a breather. On comes local Gelsenkirchen youngster Kutucu in his place.
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR GINTER!
Hofmann swings in a free-kick from the right and Ginter is first to it, heading powerfully towards goal and drawing a good save from Schubert. The linesman's flag goes up again though - another offside for Ginter.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT FOR GREGORITSCH
The Austrian scored his first goal of the season and also teed up Serdar for the opening goal. He's had more shots (4) than anyone else on the pitch. He'll be tough to keep out of the side next week!
DEBUT GOAL FOR GREGORITSCH!
This is a lovely goal. Gladbach were on the attack but when their move broke down, Schalke were lightning fast in transition. Caligiuri, in a central position, sends Raman scampering into space down the left and he sees Gregoritsch charging into the middle, completely unmarked. His ball leaves the newcomer with a relatively simple tap-in from close range. A brilliant team move!
GINTER A WHISKER AWAY
Gladbach take a free-kick quickly as Herrmann spies Ginter's run into the box. He's completely unmarked as Schalke are still sorting themselves out at the back, but the cross is just too strong for the completely unmarked Ginter to get a toe on. He's flagged for offside anyway so it wouldn't have counted, but good thinking from the Germany international nonetheless.
SCHALKE ON TOP
That goal has put the wind in Schalke's sails and they're hungry for more now, with Caligiuri going close moments ago. They've got Gladbach pinned back and are eager to take advantage of their momentum to put the game to bed.
SERDAR BREAKS THE DEADLOCK!
Gregoritsch draws a couple of defenders to him wide on the left and spots the unmarked Serdar in the middle of the pitch. He's still a long way from goal but is allowed time and space to drive forward and curl a brilliant shot past Sommer into the bottom corner. That's his seventh league goal of the campaign!
PLEA FROM DISTANCE
As in the first period, Plea has the first shot of the half, letting fly with a low shot from the edge of the box. It's no trouble for Schubert though.
ALL SQUARE AT THE BREAK
Gregoritsch fizzes a header just wide of the post on the stroke of half-time, which is characteristic of a game in which the sides have traded blows. There's been plenty of energy and dynamism, with some good opportunities at either end and goalkeepers Schubert and Sommer have pulled off some excellent saves to keep the score goalless at the interval.
HERRMANN DENIED BY SCHUBERT!
This is one of Gladbach's best moves of the game as they string a few passes together around the edge of the Schalke box. Plea spies the unmarked Herrmann in the Schalke box and threads the ball through to him. The midfielder gets a shot away under pressure, but Schubert makes a fine save.
END TO END
Both teams are still committed to getting forward at pace at every opportunity, breaking forward in numbers as they look for an opener. The decisive pass is still lacking at both ends, though.
THURAM HEADER CLEARED OFF THE LINE!
Gladbach swing in a corner from the left and Thuram beats his marker to a header at the back post. It's going in and has beaten Schubert, but Gregoritsch clears it off the line!
SCHALKE FOCUSING ON THE RIGHT
Most of the Royal Blues' best chances this half have come from forays down the right flank, with Caligiuri and Raman in particular hounding Wendt and Jantschke. They've got to the byline two or three times already, and are continuing to probe down that side of the pitch.
SUSPENSION FOR LAINER
The Gladbach defender goes into the book for a foul on Serdar and will now miss the next match after collecting his fifth yellow of the campaign.
RAMAN CLEAN THROUGH!
A delightful pass behind Jantschke from Gregoritsch sends Raman one-on-one with Sommer. The Belgian tries to find a corner, but the Gladbach keeper is equal to it and makes a brilliant save!
The Gladbach midfielder has won 86 per cent of all duels he has contested so far, the best of any player on the pitch.
NICE FROM GREGORITSCH
The Austrian seems to be growing into the game the more it goes on and is increasingly showing why Schalke brought him in over the winter break. He shows great footwork to skip past a couple of challenges after cutting in from the right and manages to get a shot away, but it's blocked before Sommer is called into action.
Gregoritsch wins the ball in midfield and immediately spies Raman's run. He plays it into the Belgian's path, but just as he's shaping to shoot, Ginter nudges him off the ball witha well-time shoulder barge.
HERRMANN'S SHOT BLOCKED
Gladbach opt for a training ground routine from the free-kick, rather than going direct for goal. A disguised pass is played to Herrmann on the edge of the box. He tries to get a first-time shot away, but Serdar was alive to the danger and charged him down.
FREE-KICK FOR GLADBACH
Kenny picks up the first yellow card of the year for a strong tackle on Thuram just outside the Schalke box, on the left from a Gladbach perspective. It's in a highly inviting position...
TWO CHANCES FOR SCHALKE!
The hosts could well be in front now as first Raman skips past a couple of defenders before dragging a shot wide from around 16 yards. Moments later, Schöpf's goallbound shot from the edge of the area is blocked by a defender.
MONSTER TACKLE FROM JANTSCHKE
Schalke win the ball in midfield and instantly look to go on the front foot. Gregoritsch feeds it to Serdar, who is just outside the box, but he's stopped by a thundering - but fair - tackle from Jantschke that leaves him needing some treatment. He's OK to continue though.
Schalke reply with a brilliant chance of their own as Raman skips away from Wendt to get to the byline on the right. He clips a ball to the back post, where Serdar is arriving, but his first-time volley is straight at Sommer, who makes a good stop.
FIRST SHOT FROM PLEA
Possession changes hands quickly a couple of times and both teams try to break, but Gladbach counter a bit more effectively. Plea bursts through the lines and then cuts in from the left onto his right foot before bedning a shot from distance towards the top corner - but Schubert makes a brilliant save to tip it over the bar!
PROMISING FROM GLADBACH
Patient build-up from the visitors as they keep possession as they work their way up the pitch. Eventually the ball is played wide to Herrmann, whose attempted cross is blocked for a corner. It's been a lively opening from both teams.
HERE WE GO!
Gladbach get the ball rolling in the second half of the season. The Bundesliga is officially back!
The teams are taking to the pitch and are welcomed by roars of approval from the crowd. We're almost ready to go!
Needless to say, Schalke coach David Wagner is also eyeing all three points: “We want to pick up where we left off before the winter break. We want to show our desire for the game out on the pitch. I can’t wait.”
ROSE: "SOLID FOUNDATION"
Gladbach head coach Marco Rose has big plans for his side in the second half of the season and is hoping for a winning start here: “In the first half of the season we created a good foundation for the second half. We want to finish the campaign successfully. We believe we can do a lot.”
Schalke are winless in their last six Bundesliga meetings with Gladbach, losing three and drawing three in that period, including a 0-0 stalemate in the first half of the season. Gladbach hold the upper hand in the fixture overall too, with 38 wins and 28 draws (27 wins for Schalke) in their 93 top-flight encounters to date.
SCHALKE TEAM NEWS
The hosts have been forced to shuffle their side at the back owing to injuries to Salife Sane, Weston McKennie and Benjamin Stambouli, so teenage centre-back Ozan Kabak gets another chance to prove his worth here. Winter recruit Michael Gregoritsch comes straight into the side as head coach David Wagner looks for more attacking thrust, but Amine Harit is out with a thigh injury.
GLADBACH TEAM NEWS
Foals boss Marco Rose sprung a couple of surprises with his selection in midfield, leaving both Christoph Kramer and the more attack-minded Laszlo Benes on the bench in favour of Patrick Herrmann and Jonas Hofmann. It's as expected up top, however, with Breel Embolo, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea leading the line.
SCHALKE STARTING LINE-UP
Schubert – Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka – Mascarell (c), Serdar – Caligiuri, Gregoritsch, Schöpf – Raman
Langer, Todibo, Becker, Miranda, Mercan, Boujellab, Burgstaller, Kutucu
GLADBACH STARTING LINE-UP
Sommer (c) – Lainer, Ginter, Jantschke, Wendt – Herrmann, Zakaria, Hoffmann – Embolo – Plea, Thuram
Sippel, Strobl, Kramer, Raffael, Stindl, Traore, Johnson, Benes, Neuhaus
HELLO AND WELCOME!
It's been a long old winter break hasn't it? But now, finally, the Bundesliga is back and we're in for a treat as top-four candidates Schalke and Gladbach kick things off!
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. M'gladbach from matchday 18 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.