Schalke 04 – Real Madrid Match Preview
Schalke’s hopes of finishing in the top four in the Bundesliga were served a severe beating at the weekend as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt. They will be playing this CL match at home but things don’t get much harder as they welcome the leaders of La Liga, Real Madrid. Schalke were dumped out of the Champions League at this stage last season with a comprehensive 9-2 aggregate defeat to Los Blancos and even if the European champions are without a number of key players, they come into this tie as overwhelming favourites to secure a place in the next round. Schalke will try to frustrate Madrid in anyway possible, but the visitors have it in them to come away with a comfortable first leg lead. Roberto di Matteo has a number of injury problems to contend with: Julian Draxler, Ralf Fahrmann, Jefferson Farfan, Sead Kolasinac, Leon Goretzka and Chinedu Obasi will all miss out. Fabian Giefer, Sidney Sam and Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar are doubts, though the Dutchman could start in place of Kevin-Prince Boateng. Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is without a number of key players for the trip to Schalke too: James Rodriguez, Fabio Coentrao, Sami Khedira, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric are all sidelined, Pepe is a doubt and could feature from the bench, with Ancelotti expected to persist with the centre-back partnership of Nacho and Raphael Varane.
Our Probable Formations:
Schalke 04 (3.5.2) Wellenreuther, Höwedes, Matip, Natasic, Uchida, Barnetta, Kirchoff, Höger, Fuchs, Huntelaar and Choupo-Moting.
Real Madrid (4.3.3) Casillas, Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Illarramemdi, Kroos, Isco, Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo.
BetAdvisor Top Tips:
Real Madrid have won their last 6 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).
Real Madrid have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).
Real Madrid have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 4 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).