Schalke remain rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table and broke a miserable record with a 36th consecutive away match without victory on Saturday.

The seven-time German champions, who were promoted back to the Bundesliga last season, have not won away from home in the top flight since a 2-1 success at Werder Bremen in November 2019.

A 3-0 reverse at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt extended their wretched barren run to 36 matches, moving clear of Karlsruher's prior record – a 35-match sequence that ended in 1981.

The Eintracht loss just about summed up Schalke's season, with the comfortable margin of victory for the home side belying a match in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the chances.

Their 19 attempts – worth a combined 1.9 expected goals (xG) – failed to yield a goal, however, and Eintracht picked their opponents off by scoring with each of their three shots on target, including two in the closing stages.

Schalke have scored only 13 goals this season from shots worth 18.2 xG. Ahead of Saturday's late match in the Bundesliga, that underperformance of 5.2 xG was comfortably the biggest in the division.

Striker Simon Terodde, who squandered three chances, told Sky Sport: "We had a lot of chances to score before the break but also afterwards.

"Frankfurt were ice cold. Three chances, three shots on goal – they all went in."

Coach Thomas Reis, whose side are five points adrift of nearest rivals Hertha Berlin at the bottom, added he "enjoyed" Schalke's performance but acknowledged they were undone by "individual moments".

"Frankfurt capitalised on their few opportunities," he said.

Bruno Guimaraes is playing a major role in Newcastle United's impressive start to the 2022-23 season.

The 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder has scored two goals and provided two assists for the Magpies this Premier League season.

Guimaraes joined Newcastle from Lyon in January on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL AND REAL JOIN GUIMARAES PURSUIT

The list of suitors for Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is growing with Liverpool and Real Madrid keen on the Brazilian, according to TNT Sports.

Newcastle are eager to sign the midfielder to an improved and lengthy contract extension, making him their highest paid player to ward off interest.

Last week, Goal linked Chelsea with him, with clubs reportedly monitoring his contract status ahead of potential January offers.

ROUND-UP

– Premier League leaders Arsenal are looking to spend in January with three players on their radar according to The Sun. The Gunners are chasing Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Mykhaylo Mudryk and Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino .

– L'Equipe reports Bayern Munich are weighing up moving for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram as they look for a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona in the close season.

Juventus have commenced talks with English teenager Samuel Iling-Junior on a new deal, claims Calciomercato. The 19-year-old made his Champions League debut on Tuesday.

– Football Insider claims Nottingham Forest will spend another £50m-£100m in the January transfer window to enhance their Premier League survival hopes. Forest made a record 22 signings following their promotion last term.

– Former Bochum boss Thomas Reis will take over as Schalke head coach, reports Sky. Schalke sacked Frank Kramer last week after their DFB-Pokal exit.

Xabi Alonso hailed Bayer Leverkusen's "complete performance" after his new side thrashed Schalke 4-0 in his first match as head coach on Saturday.

Former Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder Alonso took the reins at the Bundesliga club on Wednesday, replacing Gerardo Seoane after Leverkusen were beaten 2-0 by Porto the previous day.

Jeremie Frimpong's brace – as well as goals from Moussa Diaby and Paulinho – handed Leverkusen just their second win of the Bundesliga season, ensuring Alonso made a flying start.

Speaking at a post-match news conference, Alonso said: "We're happy. After two days with the team, we didn't have much time, but the players understood what we want and how we want to play.

"It was a complete performance today, both offensively and defensively. I think we can still improve a lot. We talked about some concepts and the players understood them. It's a good start for the road ahead.

"I saw good quality in the team, and I have to help to bring them onto the pitch. We were very focused today, we always have to be. Good concentration and a good mentality are the key.

"As a player you play on the pitch, as a coach you play on the sidelines. You have to be part of the game and try to influence the game." 

Alonso must quickly switch his team's attention to the Champions League, however, with Leverkusen at risk of an early exit after losing two of their first three matches in Group B.

The Bundesliga outfit will host second-placed Porto on Wednesday, and Alonso is acutely aware of the match's importance.

"The game against Porto is very important for us," he added. "We still have every chance of progressing, but we need the three points to avoid being under too much pressure in the last two games."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl allayed fears Marco Reus could miss the World Cup after the forward sustained an ankle injury against Schalke.

Reus' struggles with injuries are well-documented, and it appeared he had suffered another devastating blow when he came off the field on a stretcher in the first half of Saturday's Revierderby.

The initial outlook for Reus, who was in tears as he left the pitch, was not positive, with Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic telling Sky Sport after the game: "It looks as if the ligaments were injured. Of course, he was very disappointed and was in a lot of pain."

Reus was absent from Germany's victorious 2014 World Cup campaign with another ankle injury, but Kehl is confident he will be fit for the upcoming edition in Qatar.

"It was a shock for us, too, but I can give a little 'all clear'," he told SPORT1. "The examinations showed no fracture, just a lateral ligament injury at the ankle.

"[It is] not so difficult that the World Cup is in danger."

Reus was making his 250th Bundesliga appearance for Dortmund on Saturday, and BVB earned a 1-0 win over their bitter rivals in his absence.

Youssoufa Moukoko's winner – making him the youngest Revierderby goalscorer at 17 years old – gave Dortmund four wins in a row in this fixture for the first time since a run of eight between 1964 and 1967.

Marco Reus faces a desperate wait to learn whether his Qatar 2022 World Cup ambitions are over after suffering suspected ankle ligament damage.

The Germany forward sustained the blow on Bundesliga duty with Borussia Dortmund in the derby against Schalke on Saturday, having to be stretchered off the pitch during the first half.

His pain was apparent, and with Germany's World Cup opener against Japan less than two months away, Reus may struggle to recover full fitness in time.

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic said Reus felt "severe pain", while match-winner Youssoufa Moukoko said he would "hope and pray" his team-mate recovers soon.

"There is no one I talk to more often than our team doctor at the moment," Terzic said. "Today it hit our captain. It is extremely bitter, it was extremely unfortunate. Marco injured his ankle.

"I was only able to speak to him briefly at half-time. Then he was in severe pain. How badly the ligaments are injured, we can't answer yet. It's a shame because Marco was in excellent form, he was in great shape and played great."

Reus was named in Germany boss Hansi Flick's latest squad on Thursday ahead of Nations League games against Hungary and England.

Flick will be concerned by the prospect of losing the 33-year-old, who has won 48 international caps.

That would be particularly cruel for Reus, given he missed out on Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph after suffering an ankle injury in a warm-up game for that tournament. Another injury blow, to his groin, forced Reus out of Euro 2016.

"He has experienced so many setbacks in his career," said Terzic. "We had hoped that he would finally be through with it, especially now in the World Cup year. We hope it's not as serious as it looked."

Moukoko, the 17-year-old whose winner against Schalke made him the youngest Bundesliga scorer in the history of the Revierderby, dedicated his goal to Reus.

He told German broadcaster Sky Sport: "When Marco is on the pitch you feel better, you have the confidence, and I just hope and pray it's not that bad."

Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest ever scorer in a Bundesliga Revierderby as his powerful header gave Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win against Schalke.

At just 17 years and 301 days, it was the prodigious teenager who was the match-winner on Saturday at Signal Iduna Park, taking Dortmund top of the league.

His decisive intervention came in the 79th minute, to ensure the Black and Yellow's dominant efforts were not in vain against their stubborn visitors.

Coupled with Bayern Munich's surprise loss to Augsburg, the result sent Edin Terzic's men to the summit, albeit with fellow early high-flyers Union Berlin and Freiburg still to play this weekend.

The result also helped Dortmund to their longest winning streak against Schalke in over half a century, with four wins on the trot now, having previously achieved eight on the bounce between 1964 and 1967.

It did not come without a cost, however, after captain Marco Reus was stretchered off in the first half, in a potentially significant blow for Dortmund and Germany with the Qatar 2022 World Cup on the horizon.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic is "delighted" by Schalke's return to the Bundesliga – highlighting derby day as the most important in his team's season.

Having spent last season in the second tier, Schalke's return to the top flight means Saturday will see the first Revierderby at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park for almost two years.

The last, in October 2020, had just 300 fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Saturday's clash will be the 99th Bundesliga derby between the teams, with Dortmund currently boasting three wins in a row including a 4-0 triumph in Terzic's first Revierderby that stands as his biggest league win with the club.

"We're absolutely delighted. We know what significance the derby carries for our fans and for the region. We're aware of the responsibility," Terzic said in Friday's press conference.

"The derby is the most important match. We know that we need to win the game. But we also want to win the game."

With four victories from six matches so far, Terzic is keen for another win before the international break, adding: "That would mean we've established ourselves towards the top."

 

Schalke sporting director Rouven Schroder is excited for Saturday's derby but concedes his side will be the underdogs – with only goalkeepers Ralf Fahrmann and Michael Langer having previous experience in a Revierderby. Neither is likely to play this weekend.

"Our overall performance will be decisive. We need to be confident and brave, and we're hoping to go home with a positive result," Schroder said.

"We've earned the chance to play the derby after working hard for a whole year. We can't wait for it now.

"We all know that Dortmund are a Champions League side and they've been on an incredible journey. It's therefore a derby where one side is perhaps a bit stronger than the other, but we'll gladly take on the challenge."

Liverpool have handed Sepp van den Berg a new long-term contract and allowed the defender to join Schalke on loan for the rest of the season.

The Dutchman, who arrived at Anfield in 2019, was expected to spend the campaign away from Merseyside to experience more first-time football and Blackburn Rovers were hopeful of signing him.

Liverpool on Tuesday confirmed the 20-year-old has signed a new deal and will continue his development in the Bundesliga.

"I was really happy when I heard Schalke were interested in me," the former Preston North End loanee stated. "I will [take this chance] with complete conviction."

Another Bundesliga campaign kicks off on Friday after a frantic close-season saw Germany's top flight robbed of its two biggest stars.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona, while fellow striking sensation Erling Haaland departed Borussia Dortmund as expected for Manchester City.

What do these moves do to shake up the Bundesliga, then? Perhaps not an awful lot...

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, even if the title race is a little too predictable.

MANE TO MAINTAIN BAYERN DOMINANCE

Lewandowski's exit was offset by the arrival of Sadio Mane at Bayern, and Stats Perform AI expects Julian Nagelsmann's side to again charge clear at the top of the table.

Bayern have won 10 consecutive titles, so perhaps it is no surprise they are given an 84.93 per cent chance of taking the trophy home again in May.

That figure makes Bayern the most likely champions across all of Europe's top five leagues, with nearest contenders Dortmund only in with a 6.01 per cent shot.

RB Leipzig (4.64 per cent), Bayer Leverkusen (3.38 per cent) lead a group of 10 other clubs who are given at least a slim hope of winning the championship.

For six teams – including 2003-04 champions Werder Bremen and 2006-07 victors Stuttgart – their title tilt is over before a ball has even been kicked.

 

SCRAMBLE OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Unfortunately, the top-four tussle appears as predictable as Bayern's coronation.

The champions will of course occupy one Champions League spot – their 99.53 per cent chance again the greatest across the top five leagues – while Dortmund (76.78 per cent), Leipzig (72.2 per cent) and Leverkusen (62.98 per cent) also look secure, forecast second, third and fourth respectively.

That means a return to Europe's elite competition for all of those who have qualified this year, even if Leipzig have leapfrogged Leverkusen.

Stats Perform AI suggests Union Berlin (4.66 per cent) and Freiburg (8.22 per cent) – one and three points outside the top four last term – have missed their shot, with Borussia Monchengladbach (22.94 per cent) and Eintracht Frankfurt (21.5 per cent) the most likely gatecrashers despite last season finishing 10th and 11th.

Eintracht are also in the Champions League this term after winning the Europa League, but they are considered the team most likely to return to the second-tier competition (13.32 per cent).

There could be a real scrap for those final European places, though. All but four teams have at least a 1.0 per cent likelihood of qualifying for the Europa Conference League, with title favourites Bayern one of those four.

 

SCHALKE AND WERDER FACE A FIGHT

Schalke and Werder – two of the great names of German football – have returned to the top flight following successful promotion campaigns in the 2. Bundesliga last season, but they face tricky first seasons back in the big time.

The ceiling for Schalke is a little higher, so Stats Perform AI has them finishing in the relegation play-off place in 16th.

This is despite two teams – Augsburg (14.02 per cent) and Werder (13.9 per cent) – being more likely to qualify for that play-off than Schalke (13.3 per cent).

Werder are ranked 17th, while the outlook for Augsburg is awful; 14th in the Bundesliga in 2021-22, they have a new coach in ex-Dortmund II boss Enrico Maassen and are considered a strong 38.19 per cent shot for relegation.

Bochum (30.84 per cent) are also in a little trouble, with Hertha Berlin (11.62 per cent) backed to pull away and finish 12th after their play-off scare last time out.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has hit out at "arrogant idiots" in the English media, while praising Bayern Munich in their signing of Sadio Mane.

Bayern confirmed Mane's signing from Liverpool last Wednesday, with Watzke heralding the 30-year-old's transfer as one that improves the quality of the Bundesliga.

With Karim Adeyemi and Adam Hlozek moving to Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, and with Ryan Gravenberch also set to sign for Bayern, the Bundesliga's top clubs have bolstered with talented youth.

Meanwhile, German World Cup winner Mario Gotze will head for Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of their debut season in the Champions League.

In an interview with Bild, the Dortmund CEO praised the Mane transfer and barked back on the competitiveness of English clubs in response to comments from Dean Saunders on Talksport, claiming Mane will waste his prime playing in "third gear" at a dominant Bayern.

"Sadio Mane is a very good transfer, on which I expressly congratulate Bayern," Watzke said.

"There are always some arrogant idiots like in this case. As a board member of Europe's club association ECA, I know that German football still has a good reputation.

"The English didn't win any of the three European titles last season - even though I would have really given Jürgen Klopp a chance with Liverpool in the Champions League."

Along with his role at BVB, Watzke is also the DFL's supervisory board chairman, overseeing the operation of Germany's professional domestic leagues.

While expressing Dortmund's excitement on the return of fierce rival Schalke to the German top flight with Werder Bremen, he insisted it was important for the overall health of the Bundesliga along with high-profile transfers.

"Not only are we looking forward to the Revierderby but the whole Bundesliga, because it is the mother of all derbies," Watzke said.

"This is important because next year a lot of conditions will already be in place for the resale of the television rights in 2025, and if the Bundesliga booms this season, that will help us a lot with marketing.

"The Bundesliga has to get stars like Mane and Gotze, but also create stars themselves again."

Werder Bremen are back in the top flight after securing promotion from 2. Bundesliga on the final day of the season.

Bremen started the day three points ahead of rivals Hamburg and Darmstadt, and only needing to avoid defeat to clinch second place.

They ultimately enjoyed a relatively simple 2-0 win over Jahn Regensburg 2-0 at Weserstadion to spark joyous scenes.

A first-half opener from Niclas Fullkrug was followed early in the second period by a goal courtesy of Marvin Ducksch, who had set up their first.

It means Bremen have returned to the top flight after just one season out of the Bundesliga, from where they were relegated last season for only the second time in their history.

The last time they went down, they also bounced back at the first time of asking (1980-81).

The four-time Bundesliga champions follow Schalke back to the top division after the latter confirmed promotion with a 3-2 win over St. Pauli last week.

Die Knappen then sealed the title on Sunday with a 2-1 win at Nuremberg. A terrific Rodrigo Zalazar strike from inside his own half gave them the lead, before the league's top scorer Simon Terodde netted his 30th goal from as many games shortly after Lukas Schleimer's equaliser for the hosts.

This is the fourth time Terodde has won the top scorer award in the German second tier, and he becomes the first player since Sven Demandt for Fortuna Dusseldorf (35 goals) 33 years go to score 30 in a campaign.

Ralf Rangnick has described the evolution of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp as "no coincidence" – because his own career has involved developing a number of their key talents.

The Manchester United interim boss, whose future beyond the end of this season appears unclear, can point to a host of Liverpool players and say he had an important role in their careers.

Rangnick, 63, is regarded as one of football's best strategists, and during his various roles with the Red Bull group, which includes RB Leipzig and Salzburg, he helped to bring through the likes of Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino.

Before that, he was coach when Hoffenheim signed Roberto Firmino from Figueirense, albeit leaving within weeks of that deal being agreed, while Rangnick coached Joel Matip at Schalke.

It is remarkable, therefore, that Rangnick has ended up in charge of Liverpool's most fierce rivals, whom United will face at Anfield in the Premier League on Tuesday.

"They are good, they are extremely good. It's no coincidence that they're as good as they are," Rangnick said of Liverpool.

"Jurgen has built that team over the last six and a half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my – or our – players."

Klopp's Liverpool play a similar high-tempo game to the Leipzig and Salzburg teams that Rangnick oversaw, meaning the players acquired have been a natural fit for Klopp's Reds.

"We signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them," said Rangnick, "and again it's no coincidence that this is probably the club with the highest number of players from our former clubs.

"Their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is pretty similar."

Rangnick's United side beat Norwich City 3-2 on Saturday in the Premier League thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, and it vaulted them to fifth place in the table.

That treble papered over some rather major cracks, however, and Rangnick warned afterwards there would need to be a big improvement against Liverpool.

United were chaotic at times, particularly in defence, and Rangnick said: "Even the reason why the club contacted me in November was the fact we just conceded too many goals too easily.

"We reduced the number of goals conceded, but the way that we defend is still not the standard we need in order to be a top-four club."

Schalke have sacked Dimitrios Grammozis ahead of the run-in to the 2. Bundesliga campaign, with the club citing a loss of confidence in the coach's ability to earn them promotion this term.

Grammozis originally arrived in March last year as the successor to Christian Gross, but he was unable to keep Schalke in the Bundesliga with an 18th-placed finish.

The former Darmstadt coach was tasked with ensuring a swift return to the top flight this season, yet the seven-time German champions slipped six points off the automatic promotion places with Saturday's 4-3 defeat at home to Hansa Rostock.

Nils Froling's 95th-minute winner for Hansa also left Schalke four points behind Werder Bremen, who occupy the play-off place in third and have a game in hand.

Simon Terodde had equalised three times in scoring a hat-trick but could not rescue Schalke from a fourth home league defeat of the season – their most in a single 2. Bundesliga campaign.

"We have come to a point in the season where big decisions need to be made," sporting director Rouven Schroder noted in a statement on Grammozis' dismissal.

"We no longer believed that we would have a high chance of achieving our goal of returning to the Bundesliga with the current set-up.

"We therefore decided that the team needed a fresh impulse for the end of the season."

Grammozis was the fifth different coach to lead Schalke since Domenico Tedesco's departure in 2019.

Schalke have confirmed they have decided to end their partnership with Gazprom, the Russian energy company.

Gazprom have sponsored Schalke since 2007 but on Thursday, the German club – who were relegated to the second tier last season – confirmed they would remove the company's branding from their shirts.

That decision was made following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, a conflict that has since escalated.

Gazprom is majority state-owned and the country's largest company in terms of revenue.

On Monday, Schalke announced it would be cutting ties with Gazprom altogether.

"The FC Schalke 04 managing board and supervisory board have come to the agreement to end the club's partnership with Gazprom prematurely," a Schalke statement read.

"The club are currently in discussions with representatives of the current sponsor and further information will be released at a later date.

"This decision does not affect the club’s financial capabilities. The club’s leadership are confident of being able to announce a new partner in the near future."

Governments around the world have placed political and financial sanctions on Russia in response, with many sporting bodies following suit.

In football, UEFA has stripped St Petersburg's Gazprom Arena of this season's Champions League final, while the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic have refused to play Russia in next month's World Cup qualifiers.

The English FA has also promised to boycott any matches against Russia at all levels for the foreseeable future.

On Sunday, FIFA responded by ordering Russia to play under a neutral banner as the Football Union of Russia (RFU), with their home matches to be played at neutral venues behind closed doors, though Poland still insisted they would not play next month's scheduled qualifier.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, meanwhile, said that he is handing over the "stewardship and care" of the club to the trustees of its charitable foundation.

Schalke have removed Gazprom branding from their shirts in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

The 2.Bundesliga club are sponsored by the Russian energy company, which is majority state-owned and the country's largest company in terms of revenue.

Schalke's move comes after Russia's attack on neighbouring Ukraine attracted widespread international condemnation.

The Gelsenkirchen-based team has not confirmed if it has severed its financial relationship with the company.

"Following recent developments, FC Schalke 04 have decided to remove the logo of main sponsor GAZPROM from the club's shirts," the club said in a statement.

"It will be replaced by lettering reading 'Schalke 04' instead. The association will inform you about further possible steps in due course."

Schalke's actions come amid mounting expectation that Russia will be stripped of hosting the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League final in May.

The competition's showpiece fixture is set to be played in St Petersburg, coincidentally at the Gazprom Arena.

However, Stats Perform understands European football's governing body, UEFA, will announce a change of venue after an emergency executive committee meeting on Friday.

Elsewhere, this year's Formula One Russian Grand Prix appears to be under threat, while serious doubts hang over next month's Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs, in which both Russia and Ukraine are set to take part.

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