FW Michael Gregoritsch
Expected to play in a central “half nine” role with Benito Raman as his partner up top, Michael Gregoritsch will have to quickly learn to be on the same wavelength as Amine Harit. That’s not difficult to do, but Gregoritsch will have to trust Harit’s ability to suck in defenders with his dribbling and make key passes.
As colleague Luis Tirado Jr. wrote, Gregoritsch could very well be the reason why Schalke exact revenge on Bayern this weekend. He had a dream debut with a goal, an assist, and a consistent desire to create chances for his teammates.
Together, Harit and Gregoritsch can cause all sorts of headaches for Bayern’s defense on the counter, but it will be Gregoritsch’s finishing and work off the ball that will prove decisive. He needs to be more of a “striker” than “creator” this week.
RB Jonjoe Kenny
Against Bayern, Jonjoe Kenny will have one of the most difficult matchups on his plate. He’ll have to go up against left back Alphonso Davies, who has been one of the Bundesliga’s absolute best players this season since establishing himself as a full-time starting left back.
Davies has added so much to Bayern’s attack. He’s one of the best fullbacks in the world at quickly progressing the ball into the final third and creating chances, as his dribbling ability and eye for the final ball are exemplary. In a flash, Davies can make the pass that turns a change in possession into another Robert Lewandowski goal.
Kenny has been solid this season, but he has to show the watching world that he’s more than “solid”. Schalke’s best ball-progressing right back, Kenny is a tough defender and a positive passer who has the athletic traits to hang with Davies. But does he have the mental sharpness and discipline to cope with Davies, who is often two steps ahead of the defense? That will be the key question for Kenny to answer on Saturday.