by MCFC Editorial
Media assess City's Champions League chances
The Champions League is back!
Manchester City face Schalke this evening in the first leg of our last-16 tie and this morning’s back pages are full of previews and predictions.
Schalke manager Domenico Tedesco gave a frank assessment of his side’s chances during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
The German side currently sit 14th in the Bundesliga, and Tedesco admits it’ll be a tough ask to knock City out.
"We are the clear underdogs in the game, that much is obvious," he said. "But we deserve to be here because we advanced deservedly from a group of good teams.
"We have to have a perfect day if we are to get anything out of the game. We owe it to us and to Schalke."
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas is predicting a 3-1 win for City.
The former Arsenal star says: “Pep Guardiola is in one cup final, in the quarter-finals of another, and has a massive group who are all competing to get in the team, and I think the Champions League probably just edges it in terms of priorities for City this season. Winning back-to-back Premier League titles is very difficult but if City win the Champions League, it would be huge for them and people at the club would probably say this is the most significant trophy.
And Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote, told BBC Sport he strongly predicts City will progress.
"Manchester City are given an 88% chance of progress to the quarter-finals by the Euro Club Index (ECI)," he says. "This is by far the highest of any of the four English clubs in this round before their first legs.
"City's opponents Schalke are the lowest-ranked team remaining in the competition in 31st place on the ECI."
And, finally, with City still in the hunt for four trophies this season, Sky Sports have assessed our chances of achieving an unprecedented feat described by Kevin De Bruyne as “nearly impossible".
They look at our squad depth and the how Guardiola has used his squad thus far, and some interesting numbers emerge.
“Perhaps surprisingly, City have used the second fewest amount of players in the Premier League this season," James Kilpatrick writes. "They match Brighton in using 21 players across the campaign so far. Only Wolves have used fewer (18).
“Although Guardiola is renowned for changing his side's formation throughout a single season, he tends to keep the faith in the same players. Could this be an issue with so many games coming up where the pressure to use your best players increases?"
That’s all for this morning’s Media Watch but stay with us throughout the day as we continue the buildup to tonight’s game against Schalke.
And don’t forget, you can follow the game LIVE with minute-by-minute text updates via our Matchday Centre right here on ManCity.com.
by MCFC Editorial