Champions League: A Sterling brace…

It’s the turn of Manchester City to represent the Premier League in Europe tonight, as they travel to Germany to take on Schalke in the first leg of the last 16 tie in the Champions League.

City are strong favourites to win this first leg (and the tie, unsurprisingly!) with Schalke having a difficult season. While City stand atop the Premier League their German opponents are in 14th place in the Bundesliga, just nine points above the relegation zone.

The extent to which City are favourites can be seen by the 10/1 on offer for Schalke to win at home. As tempting as that looks, and let’s not forget City have lost five of their eight Champions League knockout games away from home, we’ll leave alone.

The truth is City are flying at the moment, and could cut Schalke apart if they are given time and space. Winger Raheem Sterling is priced just above evens to score during the game, but we’ll chance our arm that he scores twice at 7/1.

There’s another bet that springs to mind. City are strong favourites to win this game but they are likely to have tougher opponents as they progress. They will need their key players available then. Enter Fernandinho.

The tough tackling midfielder is on a yellow card at the moment, and like Real’s Sergio Ramos he may feel it’s convenient to take a suspension in the second leg (i.e. take a booking now) rather than later in the tournament. It’s not like he’s a saint under normal circumstances!

Recommendations:

Sterling to score a brace, 1 pt, at 7/1, BoyleSports

Fernandinho to be booked, 1 pt, at 9/4, bet365

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