Schalke v Man City betting tips: City to take a step towards quadruple in Gelsenkirchen?
Odds and preview ahead of tonight’s Champions League Round of 16 tie
Champions League favourites Manchester City travel to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash.
Pep Guardiola’s men are fighting for four trophies this season, and will be looking to make a fast start in the away tie to put one foot in the quarter finals.
Schalke have been a little off-colour in the Bundesliga this season, but got through their group stage with ease, finishing runners-up in Group D to a rampant Porto side.
It’s likely to be an exciting game, and it kicks off at 8:00pm live on BT Sport 2…
The pair have had three previous meetings. Two of those came in the UEFA European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, where Schalke won the first tie 1-0, and City romped to a 5-1 home win on the return leg.
More recently, City travelled to play Schalke in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup group stage. City picked up a 2-0 win in Gelsenkirchen with goals from Benjani and Stephen Ireland.
City are unbeaten in their last seven matches against German opposition, a record which stretched back to September 2014 when they lost out to a Bayern Munich side managed by current City boss Pep Guardiola.
Schalke are unbeaten in their last nine European home games, winning six in the process. The last time Schalke faced English opposition at the Veltins Arena, they lost 5-0 to Chelsea in the 2014-15 Champions League group stage.
Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco has confirmed that he’ll stick with Schalke captain Ralf Fahrmann between the sticks against the Sky Blues, despite losing his place to Alexander Nubel in the Bundesliga.
The German side will likely be without former Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, who isn’t expected to have recovered from a cheekbone injury in time. Breel Embolo is out with a metatarsal injury, with Alessandro Schopf out through a knee problem. Omar Mascarell is suspended for the first leg.
Nabil Bentaleb, Guido Burgstaller and Steven Skrzybski are all expected to return to the squad, although they aren’t ready for 90 minutes.
City boss Guardiola will be without a recognised left-back in his squad with Benjamin Mendy still not ready to make his return from injury. Back-up Fabian Delph has also not travelled with the squad.
The most notable absentees for City are John Stones and Gabriel Jesus, who are ruled out with groin and hamstring injuries respectively. Claudio Bravo still remains sidelined with an Achilles injury.
Captain Vincent Kompany has travelled with the squad after returning to training during the week.
City winger Leroy Sane will be looking to make an impression on his return to the Veltins Arena to face his former side. Daniel Caliguiri is Schalke’s first-choice right wing-back, and it’ll be down to him to nullify the threat posed by Sane’s pace and directness.
Jesus has been favoured by Guardiola in the Champions League this season, but with the Brazilian out through injury, it’s likely Sergio Aguero will step in. He’s the Cityzen’s top scorer this season with 23 goals in all competitions, and has been scoring goals for fun of late. Schalke’s defence will need to limit service to the Argentine.
With Embolo ruled out, Schalke boss Tedesco could throw Burgstaller into the starting XI to give Schalke their best chance of a goal. City will need to be ready for his threat although the Austrian has only found the net three times this season.
City will know all about Rabbi Matondo after he left the Etihad for Schalke in the January window. He’s likely to start, and will look to attack Kyle Walker at every opportunity. The City right-back has looked vulnerable defensively at times this season, so Matondo could prove to be a threat.
Manchester City are runaway favourites to come away with a first leg advantage. They’re priced at 3/10 to win in Gelsenkirchen.
City won to Nil on their last visit to the Veltins. They’re 21/20 to Win to Nil again this season.
Burgstaller will be looking to add to his tally of three goals, and he’s 4/1 to score anytime.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.