Gary Lineker states his prediction for Schalke 04 v Man City
The BT Sport pundit is tipping Manchester City to ease past Schalke 04 over two legs to reach the round of 16
Gary Lineker is backing Manchester City to secure a comfortable aggregate victory over Schalke 04 to book their place in the Champions League last eight.
Pep Guardiola’s side will get their knockout stage campaign under way on Wednesday night when the Citizens make the trip to Germany for the first leg of their last-16 clash.
Manchester City were resounding 6-0 winners against bitter rivals Chelsea FC in their last Premier League fixture to hoist themselves to the top of the table.
The defending Premier League champions have scored 11 goals in their last three Premier League games to get their title challenge back on track.
Manchester City have only won two of their last five round of 16 ties in the Champions League to offer Schalke 04 some hope of securing an upset.
Guardiola’s men lost 5-2 to Premier League rivals Liverpool FC in the quarter-finals last season.
Former Spurs forward Lineker is backing Manchester City to get past Schalke without any problems.
“City are still going on four fronts. Sometimes that can be too much as we saw last season,” Lineker told iNews.
“They still won the league and the Carabao Cup. City are strong favourites in this tie and one of the favourites for the competition. Sergio Aguero is firing again and some of their best players like Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are coming back to full fitness. Pep Guardiola can tinker without ever having to reduce the overall quality of his side.
“They are in much better shape to compete this year. They have more experience, which is the one thing you need in this competition. But its a knockout competition so that’s why you can’t judge a manager if it doesn’t quite happen. Pep has won the Champions League twice, semi-finals a couple of times with Bayern.
“I don’t feel for one minute he’d be under pressure if he didn’t succeed this year, but perceptions of him as a manager would be even greater if he were to win it with a different club. And he has a great chance. City have a great draw and are best placed among the English clubs to reach the quarter-finals.”
Manchester City were 2-0 winners against Schalke in their last meeting in the Uefa Cup in 2008 thanks to goals from Benjani and Stephen Ireland.
The Citizens have won three of their last five games in Germany, but have lost all of their two-legged clashes against Bundesliga opposition.
Schalke are in the last 16 for the first time since 2014/15 when they lost 5-4 on aggregate to Real Madrid.