Manchester City vs Schalke 04 Preview: Competition favourites take huge advantage into second-leg 

Manchester City vs Schalke 04 Preview: Competition favourites take huge advantage into second-leg 

Schalke will travel to the Etihad seekin a miracle in order to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the matchup.

Josh Slinger

Manchester City will take an advantage over Schalke 04 into the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League tie. 

The Mancunians won 3-2 in Germany, meaning Schalke would have to score twice, without reply, to face any chance of overcoming the deficit. 

“We still have work to do”

Despite City’s advantage, Pep Guardiola is taking nothing for granted, and knows that his side aren’t through yet. 

"What happened in the first game can happen in the second one," started Guardiola. "So that's why it doesn't change too much what we have to do. We still have work to do.”

The former winner of the competition with Barcelona has more than 10 years experience of the competition now, and went on further to express his point that City must be on their game from the off in this one. 

"Anything can happen in this competition. We must make incredible efforts in epic situations to go through.”

Guardiola then ended by saying, “We'll try and play a perfect game and do what we need to do to go through."

Suspensions for City 

This season, the champions of England have been hit with an incredible amount of injuries. Ahead of this time, City’s biggest problem may be suspensions. 

Nicolas Otamendi will miss the game after picking up two yellows, and a red, card in the first leg, whilst Fernandinho also receiving a yellow meaning he will miss the game through suspension. 

It is likely that the latter would’ve missed the game due to injury regardless, along with Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo, who are also ruled out. 

Defensive duo Ayermic Laporte and John Stones could both return in time for the game. 

As for the visitors, Daniel Caliguiri and Omar Mascarel are out for the trip to Manchester, with Alessandro Schopf out for the season.

Man City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Kompany, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, David Silva; Sane, Aguero, Sterling.

Schalke 04 predicted XI: Fahrmann; Riether, Bruma, Nastasic, Sane, Oczipka; Bentaleb, Serdar; Mendyl, Embolo, McKennie.

Form favours the favourites 

Going into this one, Schalke’s chances seem even slimmer than first thought due to their very poor form in the Bundesliga

The Germans have lost five of their last six, and sit just four points above a relegation play-off place following defeat to Werder Bremen at the weekend. 

On the other hand, City have been in scintillating form since the start of the year. 

The Blues are now top of the Premier League, after chasing a 10 point deficit at the end of 2018, and are considered firm favourites to retain their Premier League crown. 

Guardiola has also never lost in seven encounters against Schalke - the visitors seem to be seeking a miracle. 

With all this said, last week AFC Ajax and Manchester United both overcame home defeats to extraordinarily qualify for the last eight. Domenico Tedesco’s men will undoubtedly use these games as encouragement for themselves going into the second-leg of this tie.