Schalke: 5 key players to watch against Bayern in DFB Pokal

Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Schalke LM Rabbi Matondo
Rabbi Matondo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

LM Rabbi Matondo

An incisive runner off the ball with an engine that doesn’t quit, Rabbi Matondo deserves more chances in the Schalke starting XI. He injects much-needed width and pace to the Royal Blues side, which doesn’t have many other wide players. In fact, Alessandro Schöpf and striker Ahmed Kutucu are their other best wide players, so Matondo is their best option.

Matondo could cause problems for Real Madrid loanee Alvaro Odriozola, who is Bayern’s weak link in the starting XI almost by default. If Matondo can press and harry Odriozola into mistakes, he could help give Die Knappen a chance in this quarterfinal matchup.

CM Weston McKennie

Finally, all eyes will be on center midfielder Weston McKennie, who must find another level to his game as a general in the Schalke midfield. The injuries to Omar Mascarell and Suat Serdar will put immense pressure on McKennie, but the mature midfielder has all the traits to withstands the pressure and shine, even against Bayern.

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The home fans in the Nordkurve will be ready to cheer their lungs out for McKennie, who has the tactical awareness, work ethic, and intangible qualities as a leader to help Schalke rebound with a gutsy performance. If anyone will be responsible for a turn in form, then it could easily be the talented 21-year-old.