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Leverkusen and Schalke face off in North Rhine-Westphalia encounter

| 25.10.2014

Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo goes into this match with his new side Schalke against Bayer Leverkusen having won both matches since taking over from Jens Keller. He is a tempting 10/3 chance to guide the club to a third successive victory and keep up his 100 per cent record.

The Italian will also have confidence in the fact that the Gelsenkirchen club beat Bayer in both Bundesliga battles last season. Schalke scored two in each game, and are 7/4 shouts to get that many or more again.

Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted in both matches of Di Matteo’s short era so far, and the former Real Madrid and AC Milan player is 5/4 to net anytime once more, and 5/1 to get the first goal. He was also on target last term against Bayer in this fixture.

In-demand Germany starlet Julian Draxler, who has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, also scored in the first game against Hertha Berlin, and is a more enticing 10/3 chance in the anytime market.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, meanwhile, got a controversial penalty winner last time out for Schalke in the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon, and is 5/2 to find the net again. The only former Premier League player in this fixture will be ex-Portsmouth and Tottenham midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who is a 10/3 chance in the scorer market.

Leverkusen, though, are three points and two places above their visitors currently in the table (in sixth) after eight fixtures, and go into this encounter as the odds-on 4/5 favourites.

Bayer are on an undefeated run of six games in all competitions, but have drawn their last three in the German top-flight, so a tie at 13/5 could be the outcome here at the BayArena.

Their main man to find the net is Stefan Kiessling, who has four goals against Schalke in recent seasons. Despite a dearth of options up front for Germany, the 30-year-old has fallen out with national officials, but continues to impress for his club, having netted 10 times already this term in all competitions. Kiessling is odds-on at 10/11 to score again anytime and 4/1 for two or more.

The one Premier League connection for Leverkusen is former Bosnia and Herzegovina captain Emir Spahic, who is a first cousin of Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko. Spahic is a centre back, and, if he plays, has odds of 21/10 to help his side to a clean sheet, and 13/5 for a win to nil.

Unlike in the Premier League, where loan players are ineligible to face their parent club, injury-prone Greek star Kyriakos Papadopolous could feature for Bayer. The versatile player, who was once linked with Liverpool, made a return from yet another injury last time out as a sub, and could play alongside Spahic at the back.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.