FC Schalke 04: 5 key players to watch against Borussia Monchengladbach

Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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FC Schalke 04 will defend the Veltins Arena on Friday against Borussia Monchengladbach, who spent much of the Hinrunde atop the Bundesliga table. Here are five players to watch.

Although neither FC Schalke 04 nor Borussia Monchengladbach are in first place heading into the Rückrunde, both clubs are in the thick of the Bundesliga title race. With a win on Friday at the Veltins Arena, the Royal Blues can take one step towards rejoining the top four in the battle for a Champions League spot, as the clear goal is to return to the marquee competition in David Wagner’s first season at the helm.

Meanwhile, Gladbach still see the Bundesliga title in their sights, as Marco Rose has done an equally wonderful job of managing this talented side. Friday’s battle between these two top Bundesliga clubs will usher in the second half of the Bundesliga campaign, and here are five players on the Royal Blues who could make the difference on Matchday 18.

CB Ozan Kabak

Jean-Clair Todibo may not be able to make the quick turn-around and play on Friday after joining the team on Wednesday when Schalke and Barcelona officially completed the anticipated loan deal for the standout young center back.

Therefore, Ozan Kabak’s stellar play at the heart of the Royal Blues’ defense will be even more important on Friday evening. Kabak has been arguably the best defender in the league since becoming a regular starter a couple of months ago, as he’s brought bright passing, goal-scoring, and world-class defense to a notoriously stout back four.

The front three of Breel Embolo, Marcus Thuram, and Alassane Plea is capable of giving any defense problems, so Kabak will need to be at his best, especially when doing mental and physical battles with Thuram.