Manchester City will seek to complete the job and advance to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League as they host a reeling Schalke side.
Manchester City currently hold a 3-2 aggregate lead after they picked up a very impressive come from behind win in Germany after they trailed 2-1 and were down to 10 men. However with 10 men City scored 2 late goals and came away with a 2-3 win against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.
Man City are playing about as well as they can right now having hit some peak form across all competitions. Man City are on a run of 9 straight wins (one of those were on pens), they are top of the league in England, their UCL situation is great and they won a trophy on the way in the EFL Cup. Man City have been scoring for fun and defending well. Just all around, City look unstoppable at this moment of time and could be primed to make a run at their first ever Champions League trophy.
Schalke’s form meanwhile is absolutely tragic. Winless in 6 straight games losing 5 and on a current 4 game losing streak where they’ve conceded 14 goals (3+ in all of those games). Schalke’s defensive form is a huge worry coming into this game considering how well City attack. If Schalke continue to be this disastrous at the back then we could really be in for an absolute smashing. There barely any hope for Schalke to pull of a shock given the circumstances that they’re in at this moment of time. Just a tragic season and tragic form right now especially.
To make matters worse for Schalke, Man City tend to put on goal scoring shows at home very often. Man City’s home form is ridiculous right now having won 9 in a row at the Etihad having scored 39 goals in this run which is on average over 4 per game. City’s attack is very explosive and in front of their fans they tend to rip teams apart. Only reason that they may not go all out for it is if they completely kill the tie off early, but Pep normally demands his teams to play will full effort the whole 90 mins no matter the score line so don’t be surprised if City try to score a lot of goals and demoralise Schalke.
Schalke’s away form is as tragic as everything about their season. They’ve won just ONE away game in their last 10 in 90 mins, they’ve lost 3 in a row conceding 10 goals. Schalke are just a very bad team at this moment in time basically whether its home or away so there’s nothing else to add.
Sterling and Aguero attacking partnership is the one to watch from Man City assuming they start together and Pep doesn’t rotate for any reason. Sterling is coming off a game where he bagged a hattrick while Aguero himself is playing solid football all season. The two have combined for 41 goals this season with Sterling scoring 18 and Aguero scoring 23. Both are likely candidates to get on the scoresheet in this game.
Breel Embolo is the man to watch for Schalke going forward. He has returned from a long term injury and has instantly scored 2 goals in his last game. He can definitely put in a solid performance on his day, however it may not matter if Schalke’s back line don’t fix up which is another HUGE key for them to stay organised defensively to even have a glimmer of hope in the first place since City are so lethal going forward.
Man City and Schalke don’t really have much history on European stage, only faced each other twice both times in Gelsenkirchen. City beat them 0-2 in 2008 UEFA Cup and of course 2-3 in the 1st leg of this UCL season.
Man City are bookies favourites to win offered at just 1.15 while Schalke are the ultimate underdog to win the game at 22.00 with Draw tipped at 9.20. Meanwhile City’s odds are as low as it gets to Qualify at 1.01 while Schalke to qualify is offered at a miraculous 36.00. Schalke will need a miracle here to have a chance to achieve the impossible. Odds based on Unibet.
Manchester City: Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho are both suspended for the Citizens meanwhile de Bruyne and Bravo are both out. Laporte and Stone will be assessed on whether they can play. Laporte will more than likely be able to go, Stones is more questionable.
Schalke: Daniel Caliguri, Omar Mascarel and Alessandro Schopf are all out for Schalke.
Betting Stats (UCL Based)
Man City have covered 33.3% of their total goal overs at home in UCL this season (1-2).
Man City have covered 100% of their 1st half total goal overs at home in UCL this season (3-0). Love a quick start.
Man City average 0.33 bookings per game at home in UCL this season (1 booking in 3 games). Clean.
Gabriel Jesus is City’s top scorer at home in UCL with 3 home European goals. Sane is 2nd with 2.
Man City have covered 33.3% of their Handicaps at home in UCL this season (1-2).
Man City have covered 33.3% of their 1st half Handicaps at home in UCL this season (1-2).
Schalke have covered 33.3% of their total goal overs away from home in UCL this season (1-2).
Schalke are yet to cover a total 1st half goal over away from home in UCL this season (0-3).
Schalke average 1.67 bookings per game away from home in UCL this season (5 bookings in 3 games).
Schalke don’t have a top scorer in UCL away from home. Bentaleb and McKennie are their tied top scorers with 1 away European goal each.
Schalke have covered 33.3% of their Handicaps away from home in UCL this season (1-1-1).
Schalke have covered 33.3% of their 1st half Handicaps away from home in UCL this season. 2 of them have been voided however (1-2-0).
KICK OFF – 12th March 2019 – 8pm UK Time