By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 18th February 2019
Manchester City have lost five of their last eight Champions League knockout games away from home and favourite-backers could be forgiven for giving them the cold shoulder at 27/100 in the match betting against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.
Domenico Tedesco’s men kept more clean sheets (four) than any other side bar Borussia Dortmund (five) in the group stages and conceded only once at Veltins-Arena en route to the round of 16.
However, that just makes the EVS about the City to win to nil in Germany all the more alluring and here’s why.
Stubborn Schalke offer little going forward in Europe or domestically
While die Knappen finished the group stage with one of the more miserly rearguards, they also bagged just six goals of their own, making them the least lethal attack to survive into the round of 16.
That the mini league they contested with Porto, Lokomotiv Moscow and Galatasaray has a fair shout of having been the weakest in the competition adds weight to both statistics.
Further evidence of just how toothless Manchester City’s opponents have been this term can be found with a quick perusal of the Bundesliga standings, it’s not like they’re only balling up hedgehog fashion against the continental crème de la crème.
When it comes to goals-for in Germany’s top-flight, only four of the 18 teams have bagged less than Schalke’s 25 goals in 22 outings.
Meanwhile, their supposedly stubborn defence is only tied for seventh in the goals-against charts, alongside three other teams.
Some context on City’s Champions League KO road struggles
The last four UCL away knockout ties City have failed to win have been against Liverpool, Monaco, PSG and Real Madrid. All sides of a far higher standard than 2019-vintage Schalke.
When the Etihad outfit have travelled to more prosaic opposition in the knockouts they’ve made light work of the likes of Basel (4-0) and Dinamo Kiev (1-3), offering hope they should do likewise in North-Rhine Westphalia.
Pep Guardiola’s men are trading at accumulator-friendly odds of 7/10, to overcome a (-1) handicap at Veltins-Arena.