The Bundesliga returns from the winter break in a big way as fifth place Schalke host second place Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday January 17, 2020. Both teams finished up the first half of the season with disappointing draws and will look to get three points in this one to stay in the tight Bundesliga race.
Schalke enter the second half of the season in fifth place and occupying the first Europa League spot, but with the top eight being so tight there is still everything to play for. Schalke are just seven points off leaders RB Leipzig and are tied with fourth place Borussia Dortmund who occupy the final Champions League spot. They are also in danger of losing out on European competition as Schalke are just three points above seventh place Hoffenheim.
Borussia Monchengladbach were atop the table heading into the final game of the first half, but with their draw, and a Leipzig win, Monchengladbach enter the second half two points off the top. Just two points off the lead, Monchengladbach are also just five points ahead of Schalke who occupy the first Europa League spot. A win Friday would be a huge step in Monchengladbach’s quest for a Champions League spot.
Below is my pick for the Bundesliga action between Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach. All odds are from Points Bet Sportsbook
Schalke (+145) vs Borussia Monchengladbach (+175) Draw (+250)
Schalke played two club friendlies during the winter break and came away with a 1-0 loss to St. Truiden and a 4-0 win over Hamburger. Results do not matter in these games, but Schalke fans would be happy to see their club did not lose to two lower division teams. Schalke are the fifth best home team in the Bundesliga having won 16 points out of a possible 27 points and losing just once in nine games. Schalke are unbeaten in their last seven home games.
Monchengladbach also played two club friendlies during the break and lost 3-1 to lower division Heracles and then beat top division Freiburg for their final preparation. Borussia Monchengladbach are the sixth best road team in the Bundesliga having won 13 points from a possible 24 points. However, they are winless in four of their last five road games.
Series History: Monchengladbach are unbeaten in their last eight games against Schalke, compiling a 3-5-0 record.
Tip: I like Schalke +145 to open up the second half of the season with a big win over Monchengladbach.
2020 Results: 5-3