FC Schalke look to build on their Augsburg momentum with more points against Fortuna Dusseldorf. Here is how David Wagner will line up.
FC Schalke had struggled to find three points for several weeks when the top of the table was on the line. They surrendered a late, equalizing goal against FC Koln and proceeded to get thoroughly stomped on the counter by Hoffenheim.
That transitioned in a 0-0 Revierderby draw that many, many thought should have gone in Die Knappen’s favor. Two points from a set of three matches that very easily could have amounted to six points if not more.
Call it a minor set-back. Though it was looking to be major when they went down against Augsburg, only to fight and claw their way back and take the match 3-2, getting them back on track with another key win.
Now in a very fragile 6th place, with a drop to 9th place just one point away and a jump to second also just one point away, FC Schalke have no wiggle room. They have to be on their best behavior against Fortuna Dusseldorf, which takes on added meaning when you consider that they are going to be without their two starting centerbacks.
Benjamin Stambouli suffered a broken tarsal in his foot and figures to be out for quite some time and Salif Sane went down not long after with an injury that will see him out for the duration of the year. For a club that had so much going right not that long ago, that is a big helping of wrong.
It’s going to force David Wagner to get creative, but it’s not like his club are completely stranded and helpless. Daniel Caligiuri was right about the Augsburg match, it made them stronger as a team, and they will have to pull together even more to manage a full three points in this one. And that doesn’t just include the defensive situation. It extends up the pitch as well.
I reckon Wagner will deploy in a similar 4-3-1-2 that he used against Augsburg, with minor alterations. Let’s get to it.
Alexander Nubel. Nothing else to say here.
On to the defense.