GK Markus Schubert
Markus Schubert has played at a high level during Alexander Nübel’s suspension, but he’ll be come an even bigger focal point in the coming months with Nübel’s playing time uncertain for the remainder of the season.
The former Dynamo Dresden goalkeeper will draw the start on Friday evening against Monchengladbach, and you wouldn’t bet against him coming up with a few more top-drawer saves. Schubert has all the tools to become one of the best goalkeepers in Germany one day, and he probably has as high of a ceiling as Nübel.
On Matchday 18, the 21-year-old will surely be tested by the likes of Plea, Thuram, and Embolo.
ST Benito Raman
Only VfL Wolfsburg allow as few goals as Borussia Monchengladbach, as they’ve surrendered just 18 in 17 games in the high-scoring Bundesliga.
Therefore, Schalke will need Benito Raman to carry over his fine goal-contributing form from the end of the Hinrunde to the beginning of the Rückrunde.
Raman’s emergence as a legitimate breakout star leading the line has been massive for Schalke, and the young Belgian forward is a big reason for the renewed optimism around a second-half title push from Die Knappen.
The consistency will need to be there on Friday evening for Raman, because he cannot afford to get bullied out of the game by Gladbach’s steady back four. Raman will need to be as active as ever with linking up with his teammates and getting the involved, since his connection with Amine Harit, and, potentially, Ahmed Kutucu could be huge.
And of course, Raman will be the one likely called upon to provide the finishing touch in the end. David Wagner needs another big game from his rising star striker.