UEFA Champions League: Schalke 04 vs Manchester City preview

Premier League champions Manchester City resume their UEFA Champions League trip at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen tonight, when they face Bundesliga side Schalke 04 in the first leg of their last-sixteen tie. The two sides have last met in the group stage of the Europa League in 2008 and Manchester City won that match 2-0. Before that the only meeting was a two-legged tie in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970 and the Citizens prevailed thanks to a 5-1 home victory after a 1-0 defeat in Germany. That tie led to the only European trophy in Manchester City's history as they defeated Polish side Gornik Zabrze in the final.

Schalke have done well to reach the first knockout round in this season's UEFA Champions League but they also had a bit of luck as they were drawn in a good group alongside FC Porto, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow. The Germans lost only one of their six group matches, at FC Porto, and eventually finished second in the group. Their Bundesliga campaign is not going nearly as well, they are down in fourteenth place at the moment, eight points above the relegation zone. Last week they recorded goalless draw at home against Freiburg, their fourth Bundesliga match without a win. Omar Mascarell is suspended for this match, while Breel Embolo, Alessandro Schopf and Steven Skrzybski are injured.

Manchester City have won their last four matches in all competitions and have no excuse for a setback against Schalke. Their latest match was the 4-1 victory at Newport County in the FA Cup last weekend, a game in which fringe players like Zinchenko and Foden were given a chance to play. The Citizens are on track for a quadruple as they have already qualified for the League Cup final, they are still in the FA Cup and they are also leading the Premier League table, even though Liverpool have a game in hand. Claudio Bravo, John Stones,Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph are all injured, but Vincent Kompany has recovered and might have a place on the bench.

Probable line-ups:

Schalke: Fahrmann - Caligiuri, Sane, Nastasic, Oczipka - Bentaleb, Rudy - Uth, McKennie, Konoplyanka - Burgstaller

Man City: Ederson - Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko - De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva - B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling

My prediction: Manchester City to win 4-0, Schalke have nothing to lose but they don't have the strength to deny the Citizens.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Schalke win - 11.00
Draw - 6.50
Man City win - 1.28

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    A bit curious game that one as the host side who's really struggling in the Bundesliga took the lead 2-1 after a couple of penalties being scored by coolly by Bentaleb.

    After that there's been a sent off for City as well and when probably we all thought the huge upset is on it's way Man City showed a character started playing better a man short in fact and probably deservedly turn around the score.

    No doubt who'll go through from that particular couple.

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