Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prediction: Schalke vs Manchester City

Verdict: City to win & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

Premier League table-toppers Manchester City travel to Germany where they will lock horns with Schalke at Veltins-Arena in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

Schalke

Bundesliga outfit Schalke face a daunting task of getting into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in eight years. Manchester City are a side to be reckoned with and the Germans will need to go above and beyond their abilities in order to go pass the Citizens despite their relatively confident group stage campaign.

The Germans finished second in Group D, four points adrift of Porto but with only one defeat in six matches. Schalke were huge seven and eight points ahead of Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow, respectively, and will be relishing their chance to take on the English champions. Schalke only scored six goals in as many group stage matches and efficiency remains a problem for Domenico Tedesco’s men who head into the first leg as overwhelming underdogs on the back of their poor domestic run. Schalke should not be written off in advance, however. They are unbeaten in last nine European home games, winning six of those, and will be eager to extend the positive trend.

Team News

Former Manchester City custodian Rabi Matondo is likely to start in goal for the hosts after being handed his first start for Schalke a month after joining from the Citizens.

Omar Mascarell is suspended for the occasion while Schopf, Stambouli and Embolo are all ruled out through injury.

Manchester City

Reigning English champions are having an overall positive season. the Citizens sit top of the league with a game in hand over Liverpool but are still in contention for what would be the unprecedented quadruple, knowing they could still win the FA Cup, the EFL Cup along the two biggest prizes.

Pep Guardiola is eager to take City past the Champions League semi-finals for the first time ever but will have to go step by step despite the fact his men have been installed as firm favourites to land a win in Germany. Manchester City head over to Gelsenkirchen in high spirits knowing they won 12 of 13 last competitive matches leading up to the Wednesday’s clash. Five wins out of six away matches are another huge factor speaking in City’s favour and so is the 2-0 win over Schalke in their last meeting at Veltins-Arena back in 2008. All eyes ahead of the forthcoming clash will be on Leroy Sane, the boy who made his name playing for Schalke, now returning to haunt them as one of City’s blooming stars.   

Team News

Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy are doubtful for the trip to Schalke and Guardiola will choose between Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabian Delph for a place at a left-back.

Claudio Bravo remains a long-term absentee for the visitors but Citizens have no other selection issues to worry about.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Schalke eye place in the quarter-finals for the first time in 8 years
  • Bundesliga team are unbeaten in last 9 European games at home
  • City have yet to go past the Champions League semi-finals
  • The Citizens are in the running for a quadruple this season
  • Guardiola’s men won 12 of their last 13 matches in all competitions

Conclusion

Manchester City make the trip to Germany as overwhelming favourites to secure a win at the Veltins-Arena. Schalke boast great numbers from Europe this season but are going through a dry spell in the league and could find the lack of form crucial against a high-flying side such as Manchester City.

Verdict: City to win & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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