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UEFA Champions League

  • April 26, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen
  • Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
  • • Attendance: 54142
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Champions League preview: Schalke - Manchester United

Champions League preview: Schalke - Manchester United

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Goal.com previews the action in store as Schalke host Manchester United in the Champions League semi-final first-leg.



PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Schalke (4-4-2)
Neuer; Uchida, Howedes, Metzelder, Escudero; Farfan, Papadopoulos, Jurado, Baumjohann; Raul, Edu.
Ralf Rangnick has made four changes to his line-up in each of the last five games, and the tactician is known for tailoring his plans based on opposition. He has tended to use a 4-4-2 set-up, but may resort to 4-2-3-1, replacing striker Edu with holding midfielder Joel Matip.

There are question marks over the fitness of midfielder Peer Kluge, who returned to training last week but did not play over the weekend, as well centre-back Benedikt Howedes. Definite absentees from the Schalke squad are Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Mario Gavranovic, Christian Pander, Christoph Moritz, and Tim Hoogland.

Manchester United (4-4-2)
Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Park; Hernandez, Rooney.
Like his Schalke counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson is a fan of rotation and making tactical modifications to his line-up. In all likelihood, however, he will use the same line-up that faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-finals.

Dimitar Berbatov is doubtful with a groin strain, but Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney are expected to lead the attacking line whether or not the Bulgarian is fit to play. Midfielder Darren Fletcher is also a doubt, having missed a month of action with a stomach virus. Definitely ruled out of contention to play is Owen Hargreaves.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Schalke have won three and lost four of their nine run-ins with English opposition. Their home record in these fixtures is W3 D1 L1.
  • Ralf Rangnick's side have won every single one of their home matches in the Champions League this season.
  • This tie marks Schalke's first ever trip to the Champions League semi-finals.
  • During his tenure at Real Madrid, Raul (pictured right) scored four goals in three Champions League games against United.
  • Raul has won the Champions League three times, all as a Real Madrid player, as many times as United have won the competition.
  • Manchester United have lost their last four knock-out ties against German opposition.
  • The Red Devils are competing in their 12th semi-final in Europe's elite club competition.
  • During his six-year spell at Bayer Leverkusen, Dimitar Berbatov managed six goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances against Schalke.
  • Michael Owen scored a hat-trick on his last appearance on German soil. The striker bagged all three goals as United beat Wolfsburg 3-1 in the group stages last season.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson has led United to six Champions League semi-finals, his record is won three, lost three.

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Players to watch

Raúl

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Who other to watch for than the man who has scored more goals in the Champions League than any player in history? The veteran Spaniard faces a very difficult challenge in the form of defensive titans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but he has more than enough class. No matter the opposition, Raul never fails to find his chances on goal.

J. Hernández

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The young Mexican striker has proven to be one of the best buys of the season, and he will relish his chances against a Schalke side that tends to leave itself susceptible on the counterattack. Chicarito has tremendous pace and it will be no surprise if he finds himself one-on-one with Manuel Neuer.

Editor's Prediction

The Veltins Arena is an intimidating atmosphere, and certainly United will find it no cake-walk. They have only scored 12 goals in the Champions League, but Ferguson's men know how to get the job done and will likely get an away goal. Schalke will have a more difficult time scoring than they did against Inter's leaky defence, but they enter the match with both the confidence and competence to earn a draw.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Schalke 04

Manchester United

Wins
0
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Schalke 04 S04
FC Schalke 04 Schalke 04
Draw
Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United
31%
60%

Top 3 Predictions

FC Schalke 04 S04
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN
FC Schalke 04 S04
1 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN
FC Schalke 04 S04
0 - 1
Manchester United FC MUN

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