Promoted teams update: FC Schalke 04 - Back in the top flight

Straight back up: FC Schalke 04 return to the Bundesliga after one season in the second tier. After a bumpy start to the season and mixed phase at the turn of the year, the Royal Blues produced an impressive finish to their league campaign – winning eight of the last nine games of the season. Schalke 04 sealed the second division title and an automatic place in Germany’s top flight alongside Werder Bremen. takes a closer look at the two new league opponents for the Werkself. Part one today with Schalke 04.

The origins of FC Schalke 04 go back to 1904 in the district of Schalke in Gelsenkirchen. Ten young football enthusiasts founded the club Westfalia Schalke to be able to take part in organised football. A merger with the Schalker Turnverein 1877 in 1912 was followed by the football section splitting off in 1924 to play under the name of FC Schalke 04. The club started playing in today’s familiar colours of blue and white in 1913.

Schalke 04 went on to become one of the most successful teams in Germany. The Royal Blues have been champions of Germany seven times with the last league title in 1958. They have also won the DFB Cup five times with the last one secured with a 5-0 win against MSV Duisburg at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in 2011. The team from Gelsenkirchen were the first club to win the cup and league double in 1937. The Royal Blues were successful on the European stage in 1997 when they beat Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup final.

last season

After relegation from the Bundesliga the target for the start of last season was an immediate return to the top flight. After a bumpy start to the new season the Royal Blues found themselves mid-table. The first pointer of things to come came on matchday ten when Schalke were in the top three for the first time. The Royal Blues ended the first half of the season in fourth place level on points with third-placed Hamburg SV.

The Rückrunde began with mixed fortunes and the promotion spots were not achieved again until matchday 29. A 4-3 defeat against Hansa Rostock on matchday 25 brought a change of coaches with head coach Dimitrios Grammozis departing and assistant coach Mike Büskens taking the helm to the end of the season. A move that paid off – Schalke 04 won eight of their last nine games of the season under the 54-year-old. A 2-1 win against FC St. Pauli on the penultimate matchday secured the return to the Bundesliga. A week later, the team from Gelsenkirchen lifted the second division title for a third time following on from 1982 and 1991.

Best attack in the league

A key element of the success was the Schalke attack with 72 goals in 34 games making them the most prolific team last term. The top scorer for the Blue and Whites was centre-forward Simon Terodde. The 34-year-old scored every 88 minutes on average with 30 goals in 30 games to take his team back up to the Bundesliga. The Bocholt-born striker is the top goalscorer of all time in Bundesliga 2 with the record now standing at 172 goals.

The Royal Blues also impressed as the best away team in the league. Terodde & Co. picked up 33 points on the road, the highest number of points of all the second division clubs. Only Werder Bremen were able to equal that return. The Royal Blue defence was very strong away from home with only 17 goals conceded in 17 away games – another best in the league.



weak points

Schalke 04 secured one less point at home at the Veltins Arena putting them fifth in a home form table. Schalke let in 27 goals on their home turf, which was the fifth highest in the second division in home games.

Schalke 04 are losing one of their key performers from the promotion season. Loanee Ko Itakura returns to his parent club Manchester City on 1 July. The central defender was the main man in the Royal Blue defence last term. The Japan international made 30 appearances for Schalke 04 and he became a crowd favourite.

changes for the new season

FC Schalke 04 have already signed new players for next season and have announced a number of loan deals. A key personality is the new head coach Frank Kramer. The loanees at Schalke 04 Thomas Ouwejan, Rodrigo Zalazar and Marvin Pieringer have all been signed on permanent terms with four other players moving to Gelsenkirchen in the shape of Leo Greiml, Ibrahima Cissé, Tobias Mohr, Florent Mollet and Justin Heekeren. In addition, the loan deals with Dong-Gyeong Lee, Tom Krauß and Alexander Schwolow have been finalised.

previous record

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04 have met 77 times. The Werkself have their noses ahead in the Bundesliga to date. The Black and Reds have won 34 games, drawn 23 and the Royal Blues have won 17 times.

There have been three cup ties with Schalke winning all three. The 2002 DFB Cup final saw Schalke beat the Werkself 4-2. Schalke 04 also came out on top in two league cup matches.

forthcoming fixtures

The two clubs will face each other at least another two times in the 2022/23 season. The first is on matchday 9: The team from Leverkusen entertain Schalke in the Bundesliga (7 to 9 October). The Rückrunde fixture at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen is on matchday 26 in between 31 March and 2 April.


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