Manchester City v FC Schalke 04 Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Facebook
Twitter

Manchester City v FC Schalke 04

Champions League: 12 March  Stadium: Etihad Stadium

vs.

Both teams can pick holes in each other’s defences, therefore City and Schalke both to score at 21/20 looks appealing with Bet365. Schalke’s best chance of salvaging a draw appears to hinge on a generous +2 goal handicap, available at 3/1, again with Bet365.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

Champions League favourites Manchester City take on relative outsiders Schalke, as they keep up their pursuit of a potential stunning four trophy season.

Can City overcome nerves and history?

Despite their recent huge investment in playing personnel, infrastructure, training facilities etc. the Citizens have still failed to make it beyond the Quarter Finals of the Champions League in their previous campaigns. To jangle their nerves even further still, they have lost their previous two knockout games at the Etihad Stadium, both 2-1 defeats last season at the hands of Swiss side FC Basel and fellow title challengers Liverpool. The first defeat proved not to be fatal, the second did as their hopes of turning around a 3-0 first leg defeat crumbled away in the second half, ruining the owners dreams and vision of winning the Champions League for another season at least. It certainly would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if Schalke were to score the first goal of the night, given the weight and air of expectation around the Etihad Stadium.

Schalke fading domestically

Schalke arrive for the second leg in a dismal run of form, hardly ideal preparation for taking on one of the best teams in Europe in their own backyard. A 4-2 defeat at the weekend away to Werder Bremen was their third straight loss in the league, and also a fourth game in a row where they have conceded at least three goals.

Currently sitting in fourteenth position in the league, it has been a remarkable fall from grace this season for a team used to regularly competing at the top of the table, as they sit closer to the relegation places rather than the European qualification slots. Goals have not been exactly flowing either, with just 27 in the league from 25 games. Combined with a porous defence, it is difficult to see how they can turn this particular tie around.

City’s only vulnerability in Europe?

Some crumbs of comfort for the German side will come from the fact that City are not quite the irresistible force in Europe as they appear to be in the Premier League. The first leg showed Schalke could get at City, and the tournament favourites have already lost at home to Lyon in the competition in the group stages. Another German side, 1899 Hoffenheim lost narrowly at home and away to City, both games finishing 2-1, with only the poor Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk blown away in the group stages by the hosts.

Team News

Manchester City have a potential problem at centre-back, with Nicolas Otamendi suspended and John Stones still not recovered from a groin injury. Manager Pep Guardiola will hope Aymeric Laporte is ready to return after a recent groin injury, with another possible option in central defence, midfielder Fernandinho also missing out through suspension.

Key Schalke playmaker Daniel Caligiuri has been sidelined for four weeks with a leg injury and will not be available, whilst striker Mark Uth and midfielder Amine Harit have been left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons.

City to prove too strong

Schalke will no doubt come out swinging with nothing to lose and no real pressure on them, but their highly susceptible defence will be hard pressed to keep City at bay for long enough periods to give them a foothold in the match. City themselves could be vulnerable at centre-back depending on who is available, but are likely to keep enough of the ball to negate any possible impact, in what should be an entertaining and high scoring game.

Both teams can pick holes in each other’s defences, therefore City and Schalke both to score at 21/20 looks appealing with Bet365. Schalke’s best chance of salvaging a draw appears to hinge on a generous +2 goal handicap, available at 3/1, again with Bet365.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *