Monday, March 9, 2015

Real Madrid vs Schalke 04 Champions League 10-03-2015

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Real Madrid vs FC Schalke 04
Competition: Champions League, 2014/2015 - Round of 16 (second leg)
Match date: Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

The smooth Real Madrid engine has been running like the roaring monster we all know and admire for most of the season, however recently, their streak of good performances have been a bit tarnished. The first indication of this came in the 0-4 defeat against Atletico last month, and the defending Champions League champions are now experiencing a small crisis of form as the club has a hard time creating good attacking possibilities like before, and they have only scored one goal on penalty in the last two matches against Villarreal and Bilbao – very unusual for a Real side who averages 3 goals per match in Liga this season. In the UCL, the team has shown a constant display of good form and every opposition has been beaten, which Schalke 04 experienced in the first leg as the Spaniards won 2-0. Real Madrid looks like a serious contender to become the first club in the UCL history to win the tournament two years in a row, and the convincing campaign has been facilitated by an impervious defence, that has only allowed two goals against combined with a lethal offense including some of football’s biggest profiles led by Ronaldo. The Portuguese has once again been a goal-scoring machine, as he scores as he likes in both Spanish and European football. In Primera Division he has currently reached 30 goals in 26 matches and in UCL he has scored 6 goals in 7 matches. In recent years, Ronaldo has scored every time Real Madrid played Schalke, which has resulted in 5 goals in 3 matches. Ronaldo is an incredible goal scorer and Schalke will have hard time keeping him and the rest of the Real Madrid offense away from the score sheet on Tuesday.
FC Schalke 04’s results are not really going according to plan at the moment. The club did manage to win 3-1 against Hoffenheim on the weekend, but that was the club’s first win in 5 games and just their third win in 8 games after the German winter break. The team is having difficulties finding a continuous run of good form and especially their away game performances is problematic. In 2015, Schalke have still not won an away game and this is a general pattern of the club’s Bundesliga season where they have only managed to get 10 of their 38 points when playing away from Arena-Auf-Schalke. In UCL, the form of the team has been very inconsistent as well, and they just made it through to the round of 16 by finishing 2nd in group G, only 1 point ahead of Sporting. Last year’s knock-out battle against Real resulted in a 9-2 win on aggregate for the Spanish team and when you take a look at Schalke’s squad, it as hard to see who should deliver the surprise for them. The appointment of manager Roberto Di Matteo in October has introduced a more defensive approach, however, even though the Italian manager won the tournament with Chelsea in 2012, we are pretty confident that he does not have the tools at hand to make it through to the quarterfinals this time.

Probable lineups:
Real Madrid: Navas – Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo – Modric, T. Kroos, Isco – Bale, C. Ronaldo, Benzema.
FC Schalke 04: Wellenreuther – Howedes, Matip, Nastasic – Uchida, Fuchs – Neustadter – Barnetta, M. Meyer – Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]



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