On Sunday afternoon, the Herculean task of the Bundesliga is waiting for Schalke: the start of the second half against FC Bayern. S04 coach Christian Gross expects Sead Kolasinac and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but may want to restructure the midfield a bit in the line-up.
After the failed liberation last Wednesday, Schalke 04 will have to take on FC Bayern on Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m.). Half of the season is over, so the start of the second half of the season – and thus again the very difficult opening program – is just around the corner.
Long-term injuries Goncalo Paciencia and Kilian Ludewig will definitely be out for this game. You will probably join the team again in a month and a half to two months at the earliest, so far nothing seems to have changed in this plan. Steven Skrzybski is also still out. At the press conference before the game, Christian Gross stated that Salif Sané was still questionable – so the actual defense chief is threatening to miss the fifth game in a row. While Sead Kolasinac looks “pretty good” again after his substitution on Wednesday, he expects Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at least as an option from the bank. Another possibility for the starting XI is Alessandro Schöpf.
Ralf Fährmann is and remains in goal. After the surprising decision to make him number one again, he didn’t make any major blunders, the opposite is the case. Frederik Rönnow remains on the bank as a substitute keeper. There should be no changes in the back four that Gross wants to keep. Matija Nastasic and Ozan Kabak form the center, a starting XI from Sané is as good as impossible. If there are no new problems with Kolasinac, it will start on the left. Timo Becker as his counterpart on the right.
“With a four-man defense you can defend the width of the pitch well. Perhaps it is an option for me to change the position in midfield,” said the S04 coach before the game. Most recently, he let his team appear either with two more defensive midfielders and a more offensive three-man chain (in 4-2-3-1) or, depending on the course of the game, in the classic flat four-back. It is conceivable that the Swiss would access a diamond or a 2-2-2 arrangement against the Munich team. Maybe it will stay with the tried and tested structure.
It is almost certain, however, that Suat Serdar will play. Benjamin Stambouli should start alongside him after the Frenchman had represented Omar Mascarell quite solidly in this role over the last three games. The Spaniard is sitting outside at first. However, Serdar could also play a little more offensively, but Mascarell and Stambouli together in defensive midfield – a rather unlikely variant.
Amine Harit couldn’t break through against 1. FC Köln, but she was the best Schalke outfield player. Its use should also be safe. It is questionable whether Benito Raman will be back in the starting line-up after two extremely mixed appearances. Schöpf could do his job on the right, but the Belgian’s speed could be a weapon against Bayern’s Alphonso Davies, who could also start.
Matthew Hoppe will run into a storm. It’s not enough for the first team at Hunter, at most a substitution seems to be an issue. The 19-year-old is currently in top form anyway. Mark Uth could play as a strike partner after he last drowned in the usual playmaker role and had almost no positive influence on the game.