21 February 2019
Widely regarded as huge favorites to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals, Manchester City travel to the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen to take on Schalke 04 in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Winless in their last two games (D1, L1), the hosts seem to stand no chance against the Premier League giants although they’ve been impressive at home during the CL group stage (W2, D1). The Miners’ principal problem concerns their inability to keep a clean sheet, neither at home or on the road. Domenico Tedesco’s players have failed to preserve a clean slate in eight of their previous nine games across all competitions, allowing over 1.5 goals per match four times in the process. Tedesco can’t rely on his team’s home displays either, considering they’ve suffered two defeats in their previous five home games (W2, D1, L2). Still, apart from a goalless draw with Freiburg during the weekend, five of Schalke’s last six competitive clashes have produced over 1.5 goals, with three of them ending with 4+ match goals.
Meanwhile, the visitors have racked up a four-game winning run across all competitions having scored 3+ match goals three times in the process. What’s more, Pep Guardiola’s players have won five of their previous six road clashes, bagging over 1.5 goals per match four times while keeping a clean sheet on three occasions in that period. The Citizens’ impressive run of form has seen them secure 12 wins in their last 13 competitive games (W12, L1) having gobbled 49 goals while allowed just six in the sequence. Another troubling fact for Schalke is that Manchester City scored 2+ match goals on all three of their CL-group-stage road trips, pulling off two wins (W2, D1). The reigning PL holders have scored 16 goals during the CL group phase, scoring over 1.5 goals per match in all but one European fixture, which is the second-best attacking record in Europe this term.
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