• Schalke host Hoffenheim after midweek Europa League game against PAOK.
• Markus Weinzierl’s home team out for revenge after 2-1 loss on Matchday 5.
• Hoffenheim’s only league defeats have come in their last two away matches.
Schalke have lost just once since the winter break but they start the weekend eight points off the European places following a 1-1 draw at Cologne on Matchday 21. The Royal Blues have won their last five home matches against Hoffenheim, however, and another three points could see them edge closer to the top half of the table, finishing off a good week after their passage into the UEFA Europa League last 16.
Two second-half goals from Andrej Kramaric helped Hoffenheim recover from just their second defeat of the season (away at Wolfsburg) by beating bottom team Darmstadt on Matchday 21. The Croatian also got on the scoresheet when these sides last met and if Julian Nagelsmann’s team manage to do the double over Schalke, they are guaranteed to stay in the top four for another week.
- Schalke remain seven points off seventh place, the same distance as at the start of the winter break.
- Hoffenheim already have as many wins and points (nine and 37) as they did in the entirety of last season.
- Since losing a fifth straight game of the season at Hoffenheim on Matchday 5, Schalke have improved and have the fifth-best record in the league.
- Schalke have taken 73 per cent of their points at home (19 of 26). Only Darmstadt and Hertha have taken a higher proportion of points at home.
- Hoffenheim’s strikers have scored 24 goals this season, more than any other side.
- Schalke have won each of their last five matches at home to Hoffenheim in the league; Hoffenheim have yet to lose away at any side for six seasons running.