Schalke 04 returns to action desperate for a result against Augsburg and David Wagner will be eager for changes. He’s how they should line up.
Was it just me or did the last week feel longer than the entire pause? Such is the plight of the Schalke 04 fan, desperate for redemption after being outright slaughtered against Borussia Dortmund in the Revierderby, continuing right where we left off in the real of disappointment.
The problem is, the Royal Blues have a fresh helping of concern as Amine Harit has been ruled out with ligament damage suffered after the Revierderby. The whole positive tilt to the pause was that it allowed the Royal Blues to get back into health, but while that failed spectacularly in the Revierderby, it’s failing even more spectacularly here with Harit being out for a potentially long period of time with ligament issues.
Elsewhere, it looks likely that Jean-Clair Todibo, Benjamin Stambouli, and Omar Mascarell will all miss out with injuries too, as David Wagner has only green-lighted Ozan Kabak for a return to the starting XI.
Schalke 04’s predicted XI vs FC Augsburg
Which makes things interesting from a formation standpoint for David Wagner. He has a lot he needs to achieve and not a lot of resources with which to achieve it. He’s going to have to get creative and he’s going to have to trust a lot of his guys that maybe didn’t look so trustworthy against Dortmund.
While it’s a drastic shift from the three-back set he used against Dortmund, I’m thinking that drastic shifts are more than a little necessary here, which will necessitate something new. For me, that’s a 4-4-2 set—something we don’t often see much of.
Let’s dig into the starting XI, starting at the back.
There was a major outcry after the Revierderby that David Wagner should have used Alexander Nubel, but that’s just what fans do. They lash out when something goes wrong and scapegoat everyone and everything in sight.
Unfortunately, Markus Schubert was one of those scapegoats. But Wagner is smarter than that. He made Schubert the starting keeper for a reason and he shouldn’t be going back on that now.
Moving forward to the defense.