FC Schalke 04: 5 key players to watch against Hertha BSC

Michael Gregoritsch of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Michael Gregoritsch of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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FC Schalke 04 will face Hertha BSC on Friday evening, looking to bounce back from their woeful Matchday 19 loss to Bayern Munich.

After starting the Rückrunde with a dominant 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Schalke 04 fell to a more dangerous title contender last Saturday. At no point did David Wagner’s side look capable in their 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, and it is now up to Wagner to rally his side against an improving Hertha BSC.

He must do so without a fully fit squad. Both Markus Schubert and Jonjoe Kenny will be out of Matchday 20 with an injury and an illness, respectively. So here’s a look at five players who must shine on Friday evening at the Olympiastadion in Berlin in order for the Royal Blues to get back on track.

GK Alexander Nübel

Alexander Nübel is certainly not a fan favorite after choosing to sign a five-year deal with Bayern Munich, meaning he’ll leave Gelsenkirchen for free. Nübel has already been stripped of his captaincy, but he’ll start against Hertha after returning from suspension.

Markus Schubert had a few howlers against Bayern last week, but, overall, he’s played well during Nübel’s time out of the lineup. Many Schalke fans would prefer to see the young goalkeeper of the future start every game for the team during the remainder of the season, but if Nübel has a great game against Hertha, it may be difficult for Wagner to keep him out of the lineup. Schubert could be out for a significant period of time, so all eyes will be on Nübel’s return.