UEFA Champions League: Manchester City vs Schalke 04 preview

Manchester City have an apparently easy task tonight, when they host Bundesliga side Schalke 04 at the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last-sixteen clash. The Citizens did win the first leg 3-2, but they had to fight back from 2-1 down after Nabil Bentaleb converted two penalty kicks for Schalke. Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling scored in the second half to put Man City back in control, but Schalke have proven that they can penetrate the Citizens' defence. This was the second direct meeting between these two sides, the previous one was in the Europa League in 2008 and it was won 2-0 by Manchester City.

Manchester City seem back in control on all fronts, they are now leading the Premier League table, they have won the League Cup and they seem capable of going all the way both in the FA Cup and the Champions League. They have won their last nine matches in all competitions, including the League Cup final against Chelsea, and last weekend they grabbed a 3-1 victory over Watford in the Premier League. Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho are suspended for Tuesday's match and that could cause a problem for manager Pep Guardiola in defence as center-backs John Stones and Vincent Kompany are both injury doubts. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are also struggling to overcome recent knocks.

Schalke are in a much worse situation than they were before the first leg, after the defeat against Manchester City they lost the following three Bundesliga matches and conceded 11 goals in the process. They are just four points above the relegation zone at the moment and have not won a league match since January. Given all those facts, their chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals are very slim at best, but on the other hand they have absolutely nothing to lose and no pressure on them for Tuesday's game. Daniel Caligiuri and Alessandro Schopf are injured, while Omar Mascarell is a doubt.

Probable line-ups:

Man City: Ederson - Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko - B. Silva, Gundogan, D. Silva - L. Sane, Jesus, Sterling

Schalke: Fahrmann - Stambouli, S. Sane, Nastasic - McKennie, Serdar, Bentaleb, Mendyl - Embolo, Skrzybski - Burgstaller

My prediction: Manchester City to win 3-0, Schalke will try their best but they simply won't be able to cope with the Citizens.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Man City win - 1.16
Draw - 8.50
Schalke win - 19.00

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    Yeah, it seems to be a pre-decided that one, Schalke have their huge chance in the first leg match when they've been ahead 2-1 and City have been playing 10 man because of a man being sent off...but they've missed it.

    So it's tough to believe now anything else beside a home win would be possible.

    My suggestion would be a 1-0 City win.

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