The Veltins-Arena has certainly been a happy home of late, with Schalke unbeaten in four such matches before a 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in their last hosted fixture.
Schalke slipped to the foot of the Bundesliga table after a 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim, and with the side rock-bottom after 27 matchdays being relegated directly in eleven of the last twelve seasons, their top-flight status is in serious peril. That record includes the Royal Blues who had 11 points fewer at this stage in 2020/21, so perhaps there’s hope they can escape. The Veltins-Arena has certainly been a happy home of late, with Schalke unbeaten in four such matches before a 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in their last hosted fixture. Despite that upturn in form, Thomas Reis’ men have won the fewest points at home in the division (13), while they’ve also scored the fewest (14) and conceded the most goals (31) on their own turf.
The visit of Hertha Berlin may come at an ideal time then, as Die Alte Dame’s five-point haul on the road is the lowest in the Bundesliga. They travel for this relegation six-pointer after a 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig dropped them into the automatic relegation places, just a point and a place better off than Schalke. Sandro Schwarz’s men can take hope from the fact that the team in 17th at this stage was relegated in just five of the last 15 seasons, although a five-game winless run is unlikely to inspire confidence. Hertha do bring with them a four-match unbeaten Bundesliga streak against Schalke, so perhaps this is the time for their survival bid to take off.
Schalke’s fortunes could depend on Marius Bulter, who has had a direct hand in each of his side’s last four goals in the Bundesliga. Hertha’s biggest weapon could be Jessic Ngankam, who has seen each of his last five top-flight goals serve as his side’s match opener. Hertha have scored just twice in the first half of Bundesliga away games this season.