Schalke vs Dortmund: How does David Wagner choose a striker?

David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke 04’s big question going into the Revierderby is who starts up top. And for David Wagner, that won’t be the easiest question to answer.

Schalke has a lot of their Revierderby team selection pre-selected. On defense, thanks to injuries, there isn’t much need to experiment or even think. Matija Nastasic and Jean-Clair Todibo will be in there, Jonjoe Kenny and Bastian Oczipka will be out wide.

For the midfield, a diamond of Omar Mascarell, Suat Serdar, Weston McKennie, and Amine Harit seems best, but Wagner might consider dropping McKennie depending on his choice of formation. Again, not all that much to think about.

Up top, though? God help David Wagner. He doesn’t just have a ton of personnel and formation options, he also doesn’t have a single sure-fire bet. No one that he can put in there and be like, “yeah, this is without a doubt my best option.”

David Wagner has to pick Schalke’s striking corps vs Dortmund and, well, good luck

David Wagner has tried so many different combinations to fill out this striking corps and nothing has worked. Or rather, nothing has worked consistently. The only thing we know won’t work is Mark Uth. He’s gone.

But between Guido Burgstaller, Rabbi Matondo, Benito Raman, Ahmed Kutucu, and Michael Gregoritsch, Wagner has a lot to think about and, like I said, no easy answers. So much comes down to tactics and how he envisions this match going, because if you think you’re going to be counter-attacking the whole time, you’re going to want Raman and Matondo, but if you think you can maintain sustained build-up, you need Burgstaller and maybe Gregoritsch.

While no one is a certainly, Wagner kind of has to go with Raman, since he has been so valuable for the club and can score at literally any moment. So you’ve got Raman, likely slotting out wide or as a secondary striker.

While I would love to see Kutucu or Matondo, I think that Wagner will try to keep them for later if a goal is needed and they need fresh legs.

Which leaves Burgstaller or Gregoritsch. One rather familiar with Revierderby’s, one looking at his first. Neither in a good run of form.

Next. 5 Key Players In Revierderby. dark

This is not a decision I envy having to make, but if I were Wagner, I would hand the opportunity to Gregoritsch. In his debut with Schalke, Gregoritsch was tremendous against Borussia Monchengladbach, and given the long lay-off and the numerous ways this match could go, I have faith in Gregoritsch to get back to his best self. And if he doesn’t, well at least then we know.