Next Wednesday, February 26, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific, 19:45 GMT), Real Madrid will travel to Gelsenkirchen to go head-to-head against FC Schalke 04 at the Veltins-Arena for the first leg of UEFA Champions League last 16 round. Los Blancos are extra motivated for the match, due to the major slip-up of their closest rivals, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, at Liga BBVA last weekend, allowing Real Madrid to stand alone at the top of the league. As for Schalke, last weekend was not that impressive, since the Königsblauen failed to win their home match against 1 FSV Mainz 05.
Spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid are enjoying a fantastic moment both at domestic and at the international level, without conceding a single defeat since the end of October, when they succumbed at Camp Nou by the hands of Barcelona.
For next Wednesday’s match, the Italian head coach Carlo Ancelotti does not have major worries when it comes to injuries. Sami Khedira, who is sidelined due to a complicated knee injury, will be the only one to be absent from the match.
Real Madrid, who have completely dominated their group on the previous stage of the competition, is looking to collect their tenth Champions League Cup this term and they certainly have what it takes to achieve such.
FC Schalke 04 are going through a very positive moment in the Bundesliga and certainly no one expected the final outcome of their home match last weekend. The Königsblauen won five of their last seven matches and they are undefeated since last December at a domestic level, when they lost to Borussia M’gladbach.
Jens Keller will certainly have several problems hindering his strategy for next Wednesday’s match due to the wave of injuries that is affecting the club recently. Julian Draxler, Christian Clemens, Atsuto Uchida, and Chinedu Obasi are all in doubt, as opposed to Dennis Aogo and Marco Höger, who will definitely miss the match due to injury.
Real Madrid have an unimpressive record against German teams in European competitions. Although they have never faced FC Schalke 04 directly in the past, the Rojiblancos have only managed to grab one win on the last twenty-five travels to German territory.
Schalke 04 vs Real Madrid Prediction
Tradition seems to be on the side of FC Schalke 04; however, the excellent momentum Real Madrid is experiencing will surely give them enough confidence to break their negative record against German teams. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-0 for Real Madrid.
Schalke 04 vs Real Madrid Television
The match will be televised on Fox Sports 2 USA and Sky Sports 4 (UK).
FC Schalke 04 (4-2-3-1)
Fahrmann; Hoogland, Matip, Santana, Kolasinac; Boateng, Neustadter; Farfan, Meyer, Goretzka; Huntelaar
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1)
Casillas ; Carvajal , Pepe , Ramos , Marcelo ; Xabi , Modric; Di Maria, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema