Roberto Di Matteo is bound for a Champions League experience every bit as sobering as the group-stage exit his Chelsea side fell to the season after winning the trophy.
Di Matteo’s Schalke face the mighty Real Madrid in Gelsenkirchen this evening and hammering of Thor-like proportions lies in wait.
The sides met at this very stage of last year’s competition, with Los Blancos flaying the Germans 6-1 at the Veltins Arena before a 3-1 victory in the return leg.
Schalke have only lost twice at home in all competitions this term, yet the fact that Chelsea thrashed them 5-0 in Germany suggests that their form on the ranch is unlikely to stop Real running riot.
The reigning champions of Europe are a juicy 11/10 to defy a one-goal handicap in claiming victory, just as they did against Deportivo La Coruna last time out.
Basel take on Porto in Switzerland in this evening’s other encounter and a low-scoring encounter should provide a counterpoint to the excesses in Westphalia.
Notching at St Jakob-Park is an arduous task and Paulo Sousa’s side have conceded once or not at all in all bar one of their 13 home games this term.
Four of the Swiss side’s last five Champions League matches have produced two goals or less too.
Under 2.5 goals in the clash looks like the bet to be on at 6/5, with Porto’s miserly defence certain to aid its cause.
The Dragons have shut out all bar one of their four hosts in this season’s competition, while their three opponents in February have all been thwarted in their attempts to beat goalkeeper Fabiano Freitas.
Pairing our suggested wagers on tonight’s Champions League fixtures in a double pays out a well north of 4/1.
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