- Robben with excellent record against Schalke.
- Dortmund welcome Keita's Leipzig in top-four tussle.
- Wolfsburg 'keeper Benaglio unbeaten against Köln.
After spending the last 72 hours in a sulk following Sandro Wagner’s red card at RB Leipzig on Saturday, I’ve just about recovered enough to bring you my recommendations for Matchday 19.
Which players are bursting with excitement at the prospect of lining up against one of their favourite top-flight opponents? And which teams are quivering in their boots ahead of the weekend’s action? Read on to find out…
Arjen Robben (14.35M, vs. FC Schalke 04)
Thankfully, I had Robben in my team on Matchday 18. FC Bayern München’s flying Dutchman, who netted the opening goal in the league leaders’ narrow 2-1 win at SV Werder Bremen on Saturday, will look to continue his fine recent form against Schalke - a team against whom he has scored five and assisted four goals in nine appearances. The Royal Blues have struggled of late and won’t be relishing the task of keeping Robben quiet on Saturday.
Naby Keita (14.35M, vs. Borussia Dortmund)
Before you get all worked up, I know these two teams have only played each other once in the league’s 54-year history. Keita famously scored the winner in Leipzig’s 1-0 victory over BVB in September, but that’s not the only reason I’m seriously considering bringing the Guinean international into my team this weekend: Keita is in scintillating form, registering 24 points in his last two appearances. Can he help guide Leipzig to a league double over Borussia? Why not indeed?
Diego Benaglio (8.45M, vs. 1. FC Köln)
I’m going to break a habit of a lifetime and recommend a goalkeeper. And no, it's not Manuel Neuer! Benaglio ended up on the losing side against FC Augsburg last time out, but the Switzerland international has never lost against Köln (6W, 3D). Not only that, the 33-year-old has never conceded more than once in his nine outings against the Billy Goats. If VfL Wolfsburg do manage to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat, Benaglio will likely have a big role to play.
Raul Bobadilla (10.1M, vs. SV Werder Bremen)
Bobadilla made his first league start since Matchday 3 in Augsburg’s win over Wolfsburg. He played 88 minutes on his return from a troublesome calf injury, picking up eight points despite not getting on the scoresheet. Mönchengladbach fans will recall the time Bobadilla almost single-handedly swept Bremen aside in January 2010: The Paraguayan scored twice and set up another two in a 4-3 victory for the Foals. Augsburg fans, now could be the time to bring Bobadilla into your side!
Jonathan Tah (12.3M, vs. Hamburger SV)
With Aleksandar Dragovic sidelined with a thigh injury, Tah is set to keep his place in the Bayer 04 Leverkusen side against HSV this weekend. Tah joined Die Werkself from the northern giants in summer 2015 and has not lost to his former employers since (2W, 1D). Hamburg slipped into the bottom two following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers FC Ingolstadt 04, and I can’t see them beating Leverkusen this time around. I would expect Tah to reach double figures with relative ease.
Watch: 2016/17 Team of the Hinrunde results: