A Bundesliga match against FC Schalke 04 over the Easter weekend – that sounds familiar? TSG supporters will remember that four years ago, TSG Hoffenheim came out on top in an all-Blue & White clash on Easter itself. On Easter Sunday 2019, the Kraichgau club ran out 5-2 winners away to FC Schalke 04 thanks to goals from Ishak Belfodil (2), Andrej Kramarić, Adam Szalai and Nadiem Amiri, and recorded their first Bundesliga victory at Schalke in eight years.
As is the case this season, the clash with FC Schalke in 2019 also kicked off at an unusual time. As there were no Bundesliga fixtures on Easter Friday, TSG took to the field in Gelsenkirchen at the special kick-off time of 20:30 CET on a Saturday. An attacking match saw Ishak Belfodil (25) and Andrej Kramarić (45) put TSG 2-0 ahead before the break. Schalke temporarily reduced the deficit through Daniel Caligiuri (pen., 60) in the second half, but Adam Szalai (65), Nadiem Amiri (73) and Belfodil (80) scored to seal an emphatic Hoffenheim victory.
“Unleashed”, “Reaching for the stars” and “Hoffenheim take Schalke to pieces” were the newspaper headlines in the aftermath of that clear victory for TSG, who were battling for a European place at the time. Hoffenheim might have missed out on continental competition come the end of the campaign, but they still managed to finish in the top half of the table (ninth) and – like they did against Schalke – claimed some impressive wins in the process.
Oliver Baumann, Ermin Bičakčić, Kevin Vogt, Pavel Kadeřábek and Andrej Kramarić were all on the pitch for TSG that day. All five players could make another appearance on Sunday – and, in the best-case scenario, pull off a repeat performance. Easter, Schalke, three points – the Hoffenheim faithful could certainly get used to that.