Galatasaray v Schalke: Forwards to earn win for hosts

Burak Yilmaz was the joint-top group-stage scorer with six goals

Christian Crowther previews the round-of-16 collision between Galatasaray and Schalke, providing a few markets to explore...

"The last three times that Yilmaz has fired at home, he closed the scoring."
Best Bet: Back Burak Yilmaz to score last @ 7.87/1

Galatasaray v Schalke, Wednesday 19:45, Sky Sports 4, Match Odds: Galatasaray 2.245/4, Schalke 3.613/5, The Draw 3.55

This tie pits together two clubs seemingly going in opposite directions. Galatasaray are very much in the thrust of a return to European prominence whereas Schalke are experiencing a dire mid-season crisis.

Schalke actually represent one of four teams yet to taste defeat in this edition of the Champions League, but a closer inspection of events and recent form tells a starkly different story to that of the team which topped Group B ahead of Arsenal.

Despite doing well in the group stages, Schalke hit such a rough patch in their domestic form leading towards the winter break and the board felt it had to sack arguably their most successful ever manager Huub Stevens - who was in his second spell at the club. 

Youth-team manager Jens Keller has been promoted until the end of the season, but rather than solve any problems, Schalke's dismal form has continued; it's now just one win in 12 for the Bundesliga outfit, who have conceded a dozen times in their last five.

Contrastingly, their Turkish hosts are on the cusp of a wave after attracting two mega-stars to the club in January in the shape of Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba, with the latter notching on debut at the weekend.

Galatasaray currently reside top of their domestic league after prising open a six-point gap over arch rivals Fenerbahce and have only lost twice in their last 14 outings, recording an impressive nine wins. 

With such differing form ahead of this tie, the home team have to be a good bet to take a lead to Germany.

Last Goalscorer

In Turkish forward Burak Yilmaz, Galatasaray have unearthed a scoring sensation, with 18 goals this season. Yilmaz has notched 11 in his last 12 starts and, as Opta tell us, was joint-top scorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League group stage, having accounted for six out of his side's seven strikes. The last three times that he has fired at home, he closed the scoring.

To Score

Didier Drogba showed his new teammates exactly what they were getting after coming off the bench to notch on his debut on Friday night. As Opta inform us, the Chelsea legend is rarely more at home than in this competition, where the Ivorian represents the third-most prolific player to still be active in the competition after Lionel Messi and Ronaldo with 39 goals.

Best Bet: Back Burak Yilmaz to score last @ 7.87/1
Other Recommended Bet: Back Didier Drogba to score @ 2.77/4


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