FC Schalke 04: Amine Harit ‘a doubt’ against Borussia Monchengladbach

Schalke 04, Amine Harit (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Amine Harit (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 superstar midfielder Amine Harit leads the team with 10 combined goals and assists this season, but they may have to face Borussia Monchengladbach without him on Friday night.

The first game of the Bundesliga’s Rückrunde will be a sensational affair between fifth-place FC Schalke 04 and second-place Borussia Monchengladbach at the Veltins Arena. But one of the best players on either team may be unavailable on Friday evening.

Amine Harit, per Schalke manager David Wagner, is “a doubt” for Matchday 18 due to a recent thigh injury.

Sky Sports’s Dirk Schlarmann reports that he isn’t comfortable making a prediction on Harit’s status for Saturday’s game, based on the testing the Morocco international underwent during practice on Thursday.

It sounds like Harit is a true game-time call against Gladbach, which is a blow to Schalke. Gladbach are one of the best-coached teams in the league and a finely-tuned machine, boasting a top-notch holding midfielder in Denis Zakaria, who can make things happen from box-to-box. At less than 100 percent, Harit could struggle to get into the game against Zakaria.

Harit does tend to come up big in the end of games, so if he doesn’t start, his presence in the squad could still give Marco Rose and his side some second thoughts. As Mainz can attest, Harit definitely has the “clutch factor”.

If the 22-year-old cannot play due to this thigh injury, then it will be interesting to see who steps into the No. 10 role for the Royal Blues. Suat Serdar could move up in the formation, Michael Gregoritsch could be in the playmaking role, Daniel Caligiuri could shift over from the flank, or Ahmed Kutucu could move down from striker to attacking midfielder. Wagner has a number of quality options, though Harit’s vision, passing, and effective carrying into the final third will be sorely missed.

Next. Predicted Schalke Starting XI vs. Gladbach. dark

This is a huge game for both Gladbach and Schalke, with the latter wanting to do everything they can to re-establish themselves as true title contenders. A home win over the second-best team in the league would have them well on their way. And if Harit is out, a win against Gladbach could have an increased effect on morale.