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Friday's European Football Preview: Struggling Schalke seek crucial win

Having just survived in the Bundesliga last season, Schalke's start to the new campaign suggests they are facing another relegation tussle.

Eight points already separate the Gelsenkirchen outfit and Friday's opponents Hoffenheim ahead of their clash at the Veltins Arena.

There are also big games to look forward to in both La Liga and Ligue 1, as another busy European football weekend gets underway across Europe. 

Schalke in need of crucial three points

What:Schalke v Hoffenheim
Where:Veltins Arena, Germany
When: 19.30, 14th October 2022
How to watch:Sky Sports Football, European Live Streaming Highlights
Odds: Schalke 12/5, Draw 14/5, Hoffenheim 1/1

After three defeats in a row, Schalke have slipped into the bottom three of the Bundesliga and now face a team who have their sights on the top six, in Hoffenheim.

The hosts have won just one of their opening nine games and the way they are conceding goals will be a major concern for their boss, Frank Kramer.

Schalke have leaked 21 times in the league, the second worst defensive record in the league with only bottom-club Bochum (23) conceding more.

Despite Hoffenheim being nine places above their opponents, the visitors go into Friday's game without a win in their last three matches. It's also worth noting that Andre Breitenreiter's men have won just one of their four away games this term.

They do have one of the most consistent strikers in the German top-flight though, with Andrej Kramaric having three goals to his name so far this season.

There were no fewer than 10 goals in the two games between the sides last season, with Schalke winning 4-0 at home before Hoffenheim took their revenge with a 4-2 win at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

Goals on the cards when Vallecano meet Getafe

What:Rayo Vallecano v Getafe
Where:Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Spain
When:20.00, Friday 14th October, 2022
How to watch:La Liga TV, European Live Streaming Highlights
Odds:Rayo Vallecano 21/20, Draw 11/5, Getafe 3/1

Just five miles separate Rayo Vallecano and Getafe and the Madrid clubs meet at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas on Friday evening.

The hosts are in mid-table with 10 points from their opening eight games, three points and six points ahead of their opponents.

Getafe are just a point outside the bottom three after collecting seven points and go into this local derby having lost their last two matches, at home to Real Valladolid and Real Madrid.

The visitors have shared the goals around this season, with six different scorers to date – Turkish forward Enes Unal is the only player to have scored more than once, with two goals to his name.

Both teams have had problems defensively this season - conceding 12 and 16 goals respectively - and in three of their last four meetings, there have been three goals scored.

Vallecano won 3-0 in this fixture last term, with Pathe Ciss grabbing the crucial second goal and the Senegal international is 9/2 to score at anytime on Friday evening.

Lille seek back-to-back Ligue 1 wins

What:Strasbourg v Lille
Where:Stade de la Meinau, France
When: 20.00, 14th October, 2022
How to watch:BT Sport 2
Odds: Strasbourg 19/10, Draw 12/5, Lille 7/5

Friday's Ligue 1 game sees 14th face seventh as Strasbourg play host to a Lille team that are looking to win back-to-back league games for the first time this season.

No fewer than 13 players were brought in by Paulo Fonseca this summer and it is going to take some time for them to gel. Their form line shows that inconsistent streak in their opening 10 matches – WDLWLWLWLW.

The hosts are currently eight points behind their opponents but will go into this game with some renewed confidence, following last week's 2-3 win at Angers.

Their home form is a big concern though with no wins in their five matches to date, collecting just three points during that run.

Lille certainly hold the advantage in the head-to-head stats, as they are unbeaten in the last eight games between the sides which includes a 1-2 win in this fixture last season.

Jonathan David scored both goals in that victory and the American forward goes into this match having scored three goals in the last three games.

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