FC Schalke 04 will have to face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena without their best forward, as Benito Raman is unavailable due to an infection.
Benito Raman’s emergence as one of the Bundesliga’s best forwards over the past couple of months has breathed new life into FC Schalke 04’s attack. He and Michael Gregoritsch immediately worked well together in the first game after the Rückrunde, as the Royal Blues defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0.
However, Schalke will have to face an even better team in Bayern Munich on Saturday without Raman in the lineup. The Belgian forward will miss the game with an infection.
It’s a huge blow to Schalke, as Raman’s tireless running and qualities in front of goal make him one of the more well-rounded strikers in the Bundesliga. In his place, promising Wales international Rabbi Matondo will draw the start alongside Gregoritsch, and the onus will be on those two to lead the attack in front of the returning Amine Harit.
The Royal Blues should still like their chances without Raman in the lineup, but Matondo and Gregoritsch will have to step up their finishing in front of goal in order to make up the difference. Furthermore, Raman’s running and link-up play will be missed, so Matondo will have to fill that void, too. He certainly has the intelligence off the ball and, like Raman, the pace to make sure Schalke’s attack doesn’t miss a beat.
Matondo hasn’t found his shooting boots yet this season, but as his encouraging display against Borussia Dortmund in October showed, he has the awareness and work rate to make a positive difference in other phases of attacking play.
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On the bright side, Harit is indeed back in the starting lineup after missing the Gladbach win with a thigh injury. And Weston McKennie is available off the bench after dislocated his shoulder in December against Eintracht Frankfurt. He’s certainly made a quick return to health.