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Manchester City vs Schalke: City to be more ruthless

Manchester City vs Schalke Match Preview and Predictions

Manchester City made hard work of securing a lead to take into the second leg of their Champions League tie against Schalke but it would be a huge surprise if they slipped up at home.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

City dominated early on and took the lead through Sergio Aguero but two converted penalties from Schalke and a red card for Nicolas Otamendi left City in real danger.

A stunning free-kick from Leroy Sane against his former club rescued the situation though and Raheem Sterling grabbed the winner in the last minute, leaving Schalke as huge underdogs at 35/1 to deny City a place in the quarter-finals.

Match information

When is it? Tuesday 12th March

What time is kick-off? 20:00

Where is it being played? Etihad Stadium

Which channel is it on? BT Sport 2

Who is the referee? Clement Turpin (France)

Manchester City vs Schalke Betting Tips

Here are our predictions for the second leg tie for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Our predictions for the first leg got off to a great start when Aguero opened the scoring between 11 and 20 minutes to give us two winning tips at 11/4 and 15/4.

Schalke's mediocre domestic form meant we expected City to go on and earn a comfortable win but the hosts stormed back and left City boss Pep Guardiola questioning whether his side can win the Champions League.

"We gave away the goals and the red card. We're not ready to fight for the Champions League," said Guardiola. "But the result is good. I know how difficult it is to play in Germany.

"To go away and score three goals is pleasing and so is the way we reacted with 10 men. We played incredibly well and I'm delighted but it's not enough. We are a nice team to watch but I don't know how far we'll get."

The odds suggest City are almost guaranteed a last-eight spot at least and we expect the Premier League champions to be more ruthless in the second leg.

Schalke are in danger of relegation in Germany, languishing in 14th out of 18 teams in the Bundesliga with only one win since the winter break.

The first-leg result means they will need to score twice to have any hope of going through but such a tactic leaves them in danger of a heavy defeat and a City win by three goals or more at 11/10 kicks off our Manchester City vs Schalke predictions.

This week's best bets

If you're interested in more football tips for the midweek action, check out our in-depth previews:

First goalscorer tips

Leroy Sane made an impact against his former employers in the first leg and will hope to get another chance to shine again on Tuesday having been a second-half substitute in Saturday's 3-1 win against Watford.

The German also scored both goals at home to Hoffenheim during the group stage and may feel he has a point to prove after his World Cup snub last summer so he is our pick from the first goalscorer odds at 9/2.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Ilkay Gundogan is another Germany international facing Bundesliga opposition and he has been a regular starter in City's midfield this season.

He only needs one more goal to equal last season's tally of six and in a match where he should have plenty of opportunities to get forward, Gundogan appeals in the anytime goalscorer odds at 11/5.

Where the game will be won or lost

Schalke missed the chance to claim a famous victory in the first leg and could be forgiven for thinking they have blown their chance to progress.

They are 21/10 just to find the net at the Etihad Stadium and 10/1 to score the two goals required to have any chance of qualifying.

Manager Domenico Tedesco said after the 3-2 defeat: "We're obviously very disappointed by the result. We deserved more.

"For one of the few times this season we had a bit of luck on our side. We knew we'd be pushed deep, but we were sloppy too often on the counter and conceding the goals we did late on was heartbreaking.

"We need to be more clever. Some of our misplaced passes were terrible, unforced errors. We can't afford to keep doing that."

The Champions League tie is followed by an FA Cup trip to Championship side Swansea and then an international break so Guardiola has little reason to hold anything back.

We fear the worst for the visitors and City to win both halves at 21/20 is added to our Manchester City vs Schalke betting tips, while City to win 4-0 at 17/2 is worth a speculative punt in the correct score betting if you're looking for bigger Champions League odds.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

Schalke let Manchester City off the hook in the first leg and are likely to pay the price in the second leg, with City to win both halves one way to back Pep Guardiola's men for a comfortable victory.

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Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Football