Schalke facing tough task at Bayern

Updated: February 8, 2013

With only one win in its last eight
Bundesliga matches, Schalke would probably prefer to see a different opponent
than Bayern Munich lining up across from them on Saturday.

The trip to the Allianz Arena comes after one of the worst results of the
season for the Gelsenkirchen outfit, a 2-1 home defeat to last-place Greuther
Furth which dropped Schalke to sixth place.

With their European hopes gradually slipping, Schalke is in need of a big
result to turn things around, but it won’t come easily at the runaway leaders.

Schalke striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who is tied for the team lead with five
goals, will miss the match because of an eye injury, while another key player,
midfielder Julian Draxler, is a question as he continues to battle a cold.

Bayern enters the contest with no such issues as the Bavarians have outscored
the opposition by a combined score of 7-0 in their first three games following
the winter break.

A 12-point cushion at the top of the league to start the weekend has given
Bayern plenty of confidence, and it is hard to see them taking their foot off
the pedal now.

Borussia Dortmund moved into second place with a win over Bayer Leverkusen
last weekend and the defending champions take on Hamburg having won their last
four league games.

Leverkusen hopes to bounce back from that defeat at Monchengladbach, which
resides in seventh place and very much in contention for a place in Europe.

Eintracht holds a six-point advantage on fifth-place Mainz and hopes to
continue its push for an unlikely Champions League place when the team
entertains bottom-half Nurnberg.

Struggling Hoffenheim visits Hannover, Greuther Furth attempts to win its
third game of the campaign when the club hosts Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen
invades Stuttgart, Mainz travels to second-from-the-bottom Augsburg and
Freiburg tangles with Dusseldorf.