Schalke: 5 key players to watch against Hoffenheim

Schalke 04, Matija Nastasic (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Matija Nastasic (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Schalke AM Rabbi Matondo
Rabbi Matondo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

AM Rabbi Matondo

It will be interesting to see how David Wagner utilizes Rabbi Matondo this week because the Wales international needs to be in the starting lineup. His smart running off the ball and status as one of the team’s fastest players make him a good option in the attack. Matondo can play on the wing, but he seems to be more involved in games when he’s playing centrally. With Amine Harit potentially out again, Matondo could be an option behind Burgstaller and Raman in a fluid attack where Burgstaller is the “target man”.

Matondo is on the cusp of a breakout performance and against a Hoffenheim defense that has weaknesses when the tight midfield is breached, the young attacking player could make Matchday 25 his week to have a profound impact.

CB Matija Nastasic

Jean-Clair Todibo has stolen the show over the past few weeks, but Schalke fans know Matija Nastasic also deserves praise for his fine work this season. A steady passer and intelligent defender, Nastasic cleans up the danger before it can develop and is the kind of “good hand” every defense likes to have in the back four.

Next. The Runway Is Clear For Jean-Clair Todibo. dark

Nastasic will be up against a striker who has a true killer instinct in Andrej Kramaric. He is one of the most prolific scorers in recent Bundesliga history and has been a superstar at Hoffenheim for years. The Croatian international needs only the slightest bit of space to score, and it will be up to Nastasic to keep him quiet on Saturday afternoon in Gelsenkirchen.