Schalke v Man City – Veltins-Arena at 20:00 GMT

Premier League reigning champions Manchester City will continue to fight for their fifth consecutive victory this week when they travel to the Veltins-Arena to take on Schalke in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 knockout clash. Manchester City are now back at the top of the English top flight standings and will be aiming to keep their remarkable feat up when they face their opponents on Wednesday.

Schalke were incredible last season, finishing behind reigning champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. This season, it’s quite disappointing to see them struggle to live up to the expectations set by their tremendous campaign the previous year. Die Knappen are currently 14th in the standings, a long way down from their spot last season.

Domenico Tedesco’s men haven’t dealt with any European heavyweights during the Champions League group stage this season but their journey to proceed to the knockout stage wasn’t an easy one. Right now, they even managed to pick up perhaps the most challenging last-16 draw of them all. With their poor form at the moment, Schalke will need all the help they can get if they want to survive a much more difficult test in the form of Manchester City.

In the meantime, Manchester City are fresh off the back of four consecutive victories. Their 4-1 win over Newport County in the FA Cup set their record to winning 12 of their previous 13 fixtures in all competitions. The Citizens experienced a mixed form earlier to the season but they improved extremely over the last few months and are now relentless in their pursuit for glory.

They were able to notch a massive 49 goals in their past 13 matches, which included their 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea and the 9-0 demolition of Burton Albion. Man City will be entering Wednesday’s fixture as the favourites but they also shouldn’t underestimate a side like Schalke.

LATEST NEWS

–          Schalke is expected to be without Steven Skrzybski, Alessandro Schopf, and Benjamin Stambouli due to hamstring, knee, and cheekbone injury respectively.

–          Breel Embolo is a long-term absentee due to a fractured foot.

–          Man City will be without Claudio Bravo due to an Achilles problem and Vincent Kompany after acquiring a muscle injury.

PROBABLE FORMATION & STARTING XI

Schalke: 4-4-2

Ralf Fahrmann, Daniel Caligiuri, Salif Sane, Matija Nastasic, Bastian Oczipka, Nabil Bentaleb, Weston McKennie, Amine Harit, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Ahmed Kutucu, Guido Burgstaller

Man City: 4-3-3

Ederson, Ederson Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero

KEY PLAYERS

Schalke

Ahmed Kutucu plays as a centre-forward for Schalke. He has been one of the players to secure Schalke’s victory in their last few games. He has become one of the team’s most vital players ever since.  

Man City

Sergio Aguero tops the Premier League goal-scoring charts with Mo Salah. He has been one of the best and the most consistent goal-scorer for Man City.

MATCH PREDICTION

Schalke v Man City: 1-3

A thrilling showdown is expected to transpire between these two teams. Manchester City are on a roll so far this season and it looks like they won’t be stopping anytime soon. The Champions League always throws up unexpected outcomes and giant beatings, but with Schalke struggling to make improve their form, it looks like a comfortable victory is on the cards for the Citizens.

MATCH BETTING ODDS:*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

By @EliaasMJ

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