Real Madrid v Schalke: Predicted line-ups, preview & betting tips

Reigning Champions League holders Real Madrid are in the box seat to reach the last 8 of this season’s competition, as Schalke arrive in Spain for the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo earned Real a 2-0 away win in Germany, and even though they have recently gone off the boil in La Liga, Carlo Ancelotti’s team will be confident of getting the job done against the Royal Blues.

Schalke (12/1 to win) have plenty of injury concerns, while Roberto di Matteo’s side have a poor recent record against Los Blancos.

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Predicted line-ups

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Pepe (25/1 to score 1st), Marcelo; Lucas Silva, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.

SchalkeWellenreuther; Höwedes, Matip, Nastasić; Uchida, Fuchs; Neustädter, Barnetta, Meyer; Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar (11/1 to score 1st).

Real have two players out of action. James Rodriguez is sidelined with a metatarsal injury and Sergio Ramos has a hamstring problem.

By contrast, Schalke’s problems are much worse.

Julian Draxler, Ralf Fahrmann, Jefferson Farfan and Chinedu Obasi are all sidelined, Kevin-Prince Boateng is suspended, and Joel Matip, Sead Kolasinac, Leon Goretzka, Fabian Giefer and Jan Kirchhoff are all doubts.

Staying with team news, the hosts are boosted by the return of Luka Modric (10/3 to score anytime) to the setup. The Croatian should start the match on the bench.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo (2/1 to score 1st, 4/9 anytime), Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema remain a potent front three for Real, and there is no doubt that Los Blancos have the firepower to blow Schalke off the park.

Saying that, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for Real, as a 1-1 draw against Villarreal and a 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao have seen FC Barcelona regain top spot in La Liga.

Real have in fact won just three of their last six games in all competitions.

As for the Germans, Schalke’s 3-1 win over Hoffenheim last weekend ended a 4-game winless run, which will have boosted morale ahead of the trip to the Bernabeu. (Schalke are 10/3 to score 1st.)

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Key stats for online betting

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Real Madrid can match the 12-game Champions League record for successive home wins and break the record for consecutive victories home and away if they beat Schalke.

Real Madrid are unbeaten in 21 Champions League matches at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have won their last 7 matches in the Champions League, and they have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 matches in the Champions League.

Real Madrid have lost only one of the 29 UEFA competition ties in which they won the first leg away from home.

Schalke have lost on all three visits to Madrid – two fixtures against Atletico preceded last season’s Bernabéu encounter – and are without a win in their last eight games in Spain (D4 L4).

Schalke have lost all four ties in which they succumbed at home in the first leg, and avoided defeat in just one of those second legs – that 2-2 draw at Athletic in 2011/12.

Schalke have conceded 11 goals in their last 3 meetings with Real Madrid.