Schalke 04 play host to Real Madrid in the first leg of their round of 16 Champions League match this Tuesday. In my preview for this match-up I have included my prediction along with betting odds.
Schalke are in a battle to finish second, third, or fourth. They are currently in fourth with 41 points, which puts them just two behind Bayer in second. Their recent form has been quite good in the Bundesliga and includes four clean sheets in their last six matches.
In the group stages Schalke advanced after coming in second in Group E behind Chelsea with 10 points from a 3-1-2 record. They kept four clean sheets with Chelsea as the only team to score against them. However, those two losses to Chelsea were both 3-0.
They scored just 6 goals in the group while also allowing six goals. Both stats are rather skewed considering that the 6 goals they allowed all came against Chelsea and that they failed to score in both matches against Chelsea.
Schalke does have quite a few injury problems including long term injuries to Marco Hoger, Dennis Aogo, Christian Clemens, Atsuto Uchida. Jan Kirchhoff and Benedikt Howedes are both day to day and could feature.
Going into Tuesday’s match Real Madrid are at the top of La Liga with 63 points and are undefeated in their last 26 matches in all competitions. They have scored 71 goals in La LIga and have a +47 goal difference. Quite an outstanding tally.
In the Champions League they won Group B quite easily with just one draw in their six matches. While they scored 20 goals, an average of 3.3 per game and a 21% conversion rate, they were only able to keep two clean sheets. Even so, they allowed less than one goal per game after allowing just five.
At the moment Gareth Bale is listed as day to day, but he will most likely be available as a sub at the very least. They will be without Sergio Ramos who is serving a one match ban for too many yellow cards. They also have Sami Khedira out for the season.
My pick is a Real Madrid win. They are certainly favorites to advance and favorites to win this as well. While Schalke could come away with a result, it would take something special from them to get anything from this match, especially a win. This will be the first meeting between these two clubs.
Betting Odds (Bovada):
Schalke 04 win: 11/2; Draw: 17/5; Real Madrid win: 10/21
Recent Form: Schalke (D, W, W, W, W, D) Real Madrid (D, W, W, W, W, W)
Prediction: Schalke 04 1 – 3 Real Madrid
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