OVER TO MUNICH
Thanks for joining us for what turned out to be an entertaining affair in Gelsenkirchen, especially after the interval. Now do head over to the Bayern-Leipzig match centre to see if the reigning Bundesliga champions can close the gap on BVB to six points.
90' + 4'
FULL TIME: SCHALKE 1-2 LEVERKUSEN
It's all over in Gelsenkirchen! Three precious points for Leverkusen, who move temporarily up to 10th in the table. Schalke are 14th, just a point above the relegation play-off place.
90' + 3'
YELLOW FOR WEISER
Weiser wants a penalty but is also shown a yellow card for diving, like Harit was earlier in the game. About 90 seconds remaining...
90' + 2'
FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME
Schalke won't win this, but can they at least avoid a fifth home defeat of the season? Hertha, Bayern, Bremen and Dortmund have already won at the Veltins-Arena this term.
SVEN BENDER ON FOR BELLARABI
It's backs-to-the-wall time for Leverkusen...
SCHALKE STILL PUSHING
Brilliant work from Konoplyanka to get away from a handful of Leverkusen players on the left flank, but his ball for Skrzybski ends up being deflected out for a corner. In it comes and Sane blasts over the bar from close range!
Caligiuri turns smartly onto his left foot and unleashes a ferocious drive from outside the area, but luckily for Leverkusen it's just wide of the mark. Time is running out for the hosts - five minutes of normal time remaining.
SET PIECE SALVATION?
Schalke have had a lot of dead ball situations in this game but they haven't really made them count yet - although McKennie just saw a promising-looking shot blocked after a corner. Could one good delivery get them back on level terms?
The Ukrainian has a glorious chance to score with practically his first touch, but he hesitates when through on goal with Hradecky - allowing Jedvaj to get back - and then fires well wide of the target. That should have been the equaliser for Schalke.
Herrlich has sent on his top scorer in the Bundesliga this season, Kevin Volland, who has netted five times for Leverkusen. Meanwhile Schalke make their last change by bringing on Konoplyanka, who was originally a doubt for the game.
Schalke get their first proper sniff of goal in a while as Schöpf plays a lovely through ball to Skrzybski, but his effort is just wide of the post.
Schalke are looking more dangerous at the moment, but Hradecky is dealing with everything they can send into the box - he has just gathered a headed effort from Nastasic. Leverkusen still look dangerous on the counter though! The game has kept its intensity - the referee has shown four of his five yellow cards in this half.
YELLOW CARD FOR SERDAR
Serdar is deservedly booked for a deliberate foul on Bailey when the jet-heeled Jamaican tries to go flying forward on the counter. Leverkusen happy to soak up pressure at the moment.
Having notched his maiden Bundesliga goal earlier, Haji Wright goes off to warm applause as he's replaced by Skrzybski. Whatever happens to Schalke tonight, it will be a memorable evening for the 20-year-old American.
Both teams have cranked up the intensity at the Veltins-Arena. Caligiuri does well to win the ball back high on the right flank, but when he pulls it into the area Schalke can't get a shot away. There are more goals in this one, mark my words!
SCHALKE IN THE ASCENDANCY
A good start to the half from Schalke, who have already managed to get a couple of balls into the area from the right flank. It looks like Tedesco may have found the right words to inspire his troops at the break.
Off we go again! No changes at half-time. Can one of these teams win the day and get themselves a bit closer to where they'd like to be in the table?
HALF-TIME: SCHALKE 1-2 LEVERKUSEN
It's been a rather strange one at the Veltins-Arena. After a quiet start Schalke looked to be taking control of proceedings, only for Leverkusen to open up a 2-0 lead through Dragovic and Alario. But Wright's first Bundesliga goal on the stroke of half-time will give Tedesco's men renewed confidence that they can take something from the game.
45' + 2'
SCHALKE GET ONE BACK!
Game on! It's a goal made in the USA as McKennie meets an Oczipka corner with his head and Wright instinctively stabs it home from close range. That's the last kick of the first half.
45' + 2'
ゴール！1 : 2
BENTALEB WHIPS ONE WIDE
Schalke have failed to really trouble Hradecky in this first half, and Bentaleb's effort from distance sails harmlessly wide. The Royal Blues are facing the prospect of a fifth home defeat in eight games at the Veltins-Arena this season.
WHAT A GOAL!
This is sensational stuff from Lucas Alario! The ball is played into the Argentine on the edge of the area, he flicks it up, takes a touch to knock it around Nastasic and then fires low past Fährmann for 2-0. Schalke want it chalked off for handball but the goal stands. Leverkusen really in the driving seat now.
ゴール！0 : 2
HARIT BOOKED FOR DIVING
The Morocco international goes down under pressure from Kohr in the penalty area but the referee is having none of it, and shows him a yellow card. Schalke look a bit stunned - Leverkusen hadn't really done anything for 25 minutes until Dragovic put them ahead.
DISALLOWED GOAL! - NO! GOAL!
Dragovic has the ball in the back of the net but it's been ruled out for offside... but then it hasn't! The Austrian swept in after Bailey's long-range effort came back off the post.
ゴール！0 : 1
BOTH TEAMS IN NEED OF A BOOST
Confidence isn't running too high in either camp at the moment and you can feel that on the pitch. Remember, Schalke finished second last season, while Leverkusen were fifth. At the moment they sit 14th and 11th respectively.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR LEVERKUSEN!
The visitors have just had their first shot, through Wendell - and a minute later they should be in front as Schalke give the ball away cheaply in defence. Dominik Kohr comes bursting forward but puts his shot wide of the post.
McKennie is getting heavily involved in Schalke's attacks for the time being, and the American heads a decent cross from Oczipka straight at Hradecky. He is playing higher than usual alongside compatriot Wright.
Some nice interplay from the hosts, who are passing the ball around nicely. McKennie plays a one-two with Harit and could have a go first time, but instead takes a touch too many and has to poke the ball to Schöpf, whose tame effort is easily gathered by Hradecky.
The action at the Veltins-Arena hasn't quite matched the pre-match fireworks for the time being, although Schalke finally create the first chance of note, with Schöpf crossing in for McKennie - who meets the ball with his shoulder rather than his head. Leverkusen have had more control so far but the Royal Blues are beginning to stir.
A GENTLE START
The two teams are just sizing each other up for the moment, we haven't had a ball in either penalty area yet. Leverkusen are pressing high up the pitch which is forcing Schalke to go long.
Leverkusen get us underway at the Veltins-Arena!
A TOUCHING TRIBUTE
Mining is set to come to an end in the Gelsenkirchen region in the coming months, and Schalke have just paid a wonderful tribute to the industry so intimately linked to their founding in 1904. Tonight, Die Knappen ("The Miners") are wearing a special kit with the name of each of the 18 mines in Gelsenkirchen that are closing.
TWO COMEBACKS - AND A TOP SCORER ON THE BENCH
Wendell starts in the Bundesliga for the first time since 11 November, when Leverkusen lost 3-0 in Leipzig, while Lucas Alario has been given the nod for the first time since a 2-2 draw with Hannover on 20 October. Meanwhile Heiko Herrlich has left his top scorer Kevin Volland (five goals) on the bench.
As you would expect in an 'Englische Woche' - there's our tenuous link to David Bowie - both coaches have made changes from the weekend's action. There are five for Schalke after their 1-1 draw with Augsburg - in come Nastasic, Bentaleb, Schöpf, Wright and McKennie - and four for Leverkusen after their loss in Frankfurt - Wendell, Baumgartlinger, Bailey and Alario.
PREVIOUS MEETING: LEVERKUSEN 0-2 SCHALKE
Things didn't go at all Leverkusen's way when these sides last met at the BayArena in late February. After Guido Burgstaller's early opener for Schalke, the home side had Dominik Kohr sent off before half-time and went on to concede a late penalty, converted by Nabil Bentelab. Then again, Die Werkself did claim a 1-1 draw on their last visit to the Veltins-Arena, with Leon Bailey cancelling out Leon Goretzka's first-half strike for the Royal Blues.
JUST THE TWO OF US
American duo Weston McKennie and Haji Wright both start for Schalke this evening. The last time a star-spangled duo began a game together in the Bundesliga was back on 30 March 2013, and funnily enough also in Gelsenkirchen. That day, Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams were in the starting line-up for visitors Hoffenheim as they were beaten 3-0 by the Royal Blues.
LEVERKUSEN STARTING XI
Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, Dragovic, Wendell – Baumgartlinger (c), Kohr – Bellarabi, Havertz, Bailey – Alario
SCHALKE STARTING XI
Fährmann (c) – Stambouli, Sane, Nastasic – Caligiuri, McKennie, Bentaleb, Oczipka – Schöpf, Harit – Wright
Hello everybody and welcome along for what promises to be a cracking night of football on bundesliga.com ... to whet your appetite we'll have live text coverage of Schalke vs. Bayer Leverkusen right here in about 45 minutes' time, before you can pop over to the Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig match centre to see whether the champions can close the gap on leaders Borussia Dortmund. Get those pizzas ordered!
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. Leverkusen from matchday 16 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.