FC Schalke 04 will look to cement their place in the top four with victory away to FC Ingolstadt 04 on Saturday (kick-off 15:30CET/13:30GMT).
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The Royal Blues moved up to fourth on the back of a priceless 2-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach last time out, but arguably have the more demanding run-in of their direct rivals for a UEFA Champions League berth, with games against FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund lurking on the horizon.
Before that, though, Die Knappen will have to overcome an Ingolstadt side with a rather important objective of their own still to meet. Although tenth in the current standings, the Bundesliga first-timers are only six points clear of an increasingly congested relegation zone and by no means safe yet.
Matchday 11 rewind: Schalke 1-1 Ingolstadt
Matchday 28 - match stats
- Ingolstadt's five-match winless run (four draws, one defeat) is the longest of their short Bundesliga history.Schalke have won three of their last four Bundesliga matches.Ingolstadt lost four of their eight home matches in the Hinrunde, but are unbeaten at the Audi Sportpark in 2016 (three wins, two draws).Schalke have already won five times away from home this season, compared to three over the entire course of 2014/15.Ingolstadt's forwards have shared ten goals in 2016, compared to six in the Hinrunde.A league-high ten of the 35 goals Schalke have conceded in 2015/16 have been scored by defenders.After going six months without a goal, Ingolstadt's Lukas Hinterseer has scored in each of his last four matches.
Ingolstadt: Özcan – Da Costa, Matip (c), Hübner, Bauer – Groß, Roger, Christiansen – Hartmann, Lezcano, Leckie
Absentees: Levels (ankle), Danielo Soares (foot)
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Caicara, Matip, Neustädter, Aogo – Geis, Höjbjerg – Sane, Belhanda, Meyer – Huntelaar
Absentees: Höwedes (thigh), Nastasic (light training), Uchida (knee), Höger (knee)