It was a close shave, but Manchester City left Germany with the victory and three away goals in their first-leg tie against Schalke 04 three weeks ago.
Pep Guardiola’s men had to work hard, but the Sky Blues have measured themselves up for winning a place in the quarter-finals in a year where the Champions League looks more open than ever.
Tuesday’s tie at the Etihad Stadium looks to be an electric match, but will Man City lose the chance to continue their quadruple push?
The one trophy that Manchester City are desperate to win is the Champions League. Since Sheikh Mansour took over from the club in 2008, European dominance has been the crown jewel that has often escaped the Sky Blues.
Financial Fair Play investigations might overshadow the coverage going into the match, but the bookies are certain that the Cityzens will find Tuesday night a walk in the park.
Nine victories on the trot has seen Manchester City dramatically close the gap on Liverpool and leap frog them in the table in the past month. Form is clearly on their side. The Premier League leaders can be found at a best-price of 1/6 with prices dipping to as short as 1/8 across a number of bookmakers.
Schalke stunned City in the first half of their Champions League first-leg thanks to two Nabil Bentaleb penalties, but a spirited City performance crushed any dreams of an upset.
Die Knappen might be performing to a high-level in this competition, but their domestic form suggests a very different story. Domenico Tedesco’s side have looked out of shape in the three games they’ve played simce that dramatic Round of 16 tie at the Veltins-Arena. With just six wins in the League all season, it’s fair to say that this year’s Bundesliga has been a bit of write off from the German side.
The bookies can’t see Die Knappen walking away with a victory on Wednesday as they can be found at a best-price of 22/1 just to win. Even a draw looks like a difficult result to see with a best-price of 8/1 found with Unibet.
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Manchester City continue without Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Claudio Bravo who remain injured, but will be boosted by the return of Fabian Delph and Aymeric Laporte to strengthen the backline. Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are serving bans for this match.
Schalke will be with out Daniel Caligiuri after suffering a torn ligament in the 4-2 defeat to Werder Breman at the weekend. The likes of Omar Mascarell and Alessandro Schopf continue their spell on the sidelines.
Man City to win both halves @ 21/20 – BET NOW
Schalke have had a bit of a defensive nightmare in their last three matches. All against mid-table opporition, Die Knappen have conceded 10 goals in total with just two scored in return.
There was a definite sparkle from Schalke in the first-half of the first-leg against City, but home crowd on a big European night could have played a huge factor on the adrenaline levels.
At the Etihad it will be a different story. Despite Man City failing to score in five of their last six in the first-half performances, it is hard to envisage that run continuing against such a leaky defence.
Manchester City to win both halves offers plenty of value at 21/20 and adds a different edge to a short to win selection.
Raheem Sterling to score anytime @ 21/20 – BET NOW
The England international has been on fire this season and netted a 13-minute hattrick at the weekend against Watford to take his goal tally for the season to 18.
Sterling was the match winner at the Veltins-Arena when Man City were dangerously close to heading out of Germany with just a draw. The former Liverpool winger has stepped up this season to become a match winner and one of City’s most important players.
The 21/20 best-price on offer is a strong price considering his hot streak of form whereby he has scored four in his last five games.
Correct Score – Manchester 4-1 @ 15/1 – BET NOW
After three consecutive low-scoring matches, the Cityzens got back to business on Saturday with a triumphant 3-1 win against Watford.
Schalke have conceded at least three goals in their last four matches and have conceded four goals twice in a row.
It’s hard to see anything other than a Manchester City win here and 4-1 at 15/1 looks like great value when you considering just some of the results at the Etihad since the start of the year.
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