Having never won four straight matches to open the season, Bayer Leverkusen have the chance to break a record on Saturday when they visit Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke. The Royal Blues are desperate for points after an awful start has them sitting with just one point after their first three games.
Last week was an absolute disaster for Schalke. Losing 2-1 to Hannover was bad enough, but Benedikt Höwedes and Christian Fuchs decided to go and get themselves sent off and suspended for this week's match. Luckily, Adam Szalai was not seriously injured in Schalke's victory over PAOK midweek to advance. He should be fit and ready to go this weekend. That's a good thing, because if he wasn't healthy, Schalke would likely be playing without a forward this weekend.
What was Leverkusen up to last week when Schalke were collapsing? They were putting a 4-2 victory together over Borussia Mönchengladbach. This gave them nine points out of a possible nine. The club has been impressive thus far and a big win against Schalke on Saturday will boost their credentials as potential title challengers.
Yes, I said title challengers. Yes, Bayern is a much deeper side than Leverkusen but will they be able to replicate last season's form? Is Borussia Dortmund really that much better than Leverkusen in all aspects? I'm not convinced. However, Leverkusen's to players have to basically remain injury free all season long. That's a tall order.
Bayer Leverkusen: Bernd Leno; Roberto Hilbert; Emir Spahic, Ömer Toprak, Sebastian Boenisch; Lars Bender, Stefan Reinartz, Gonzalo Castro; Sidney Sam, Stefan Kießling, Heung-Min Son
Injuries and Suspensions
Schalke: Christian Fuchs (out - suspended), Benedikt Höwedes (out - suspended), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (out - knee), Sead Kolasinac (out - hamstring), Chinedu Obasi (out - fitness), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (out - fitness)
Bayer Leverkusen: Dominik Kohr (out - knee), Niklas Lomb (out - ankle)
Television and Streaming
TV: Gol TV (USA), BT Sport (England), Sky 1 (Germany)
Streaming: Sky Go (Germany)
Time and Location
Time: 18:30 Local / 12:30 PM Eastern
Location: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen