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FC Schalke vs Real Madrid: Match Preview

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Real Madrid and Schalke have never met before in a competitive fixture. But that doesn't mean the form book should be thrown out just yet.

Real Madrid have a chequered past in Germany. Their semi-final first leg defeat to Borussia Dortmund was their 18th on German soil. In fact Madrid have only won once in Germany in 25 visits.

Of course, form means nothing when you line up against the world's best player. Cristiano Ronaldo has been in scintillating form this season, and is back in the Madrid side after serving a three match domestic ban for his red card against Athletic Bilbao.

The Portuguese winger will no doubt be raring to, but will face a tough time against a side that have only conceded two goals in their last seven matches.

Schalke have had plenty of time to rest since their disappointing 0-0 draw at home to FSV Mainz. The Gelsenkirchen side find themselves in fourth place in the Bundesliga thanks to four wins in their last five matches.

Real meanwhile are unbeaten in their last 26 matches, and Schalke boss Jens Keller believes only a miracle will help his side defeat the Spanish giants.

"After Bayern, Real Madrid are maybe the second-best team in the world at the moment," he said.

"They have extraordinary players in every position so it won't be an easy game. But we are the home team and must be brave; we will not hide. To be successful, everybody will have to be at 100%. Only then might it be possible to pull off a little miracle.

"Real are very strong at the back and play very aggressively. But our coaching staff will pinpoint some deficiencies and we will try to play on those. As you can see from the past few weeks, it can be quite hard to score against us. A clean sheet must be our aim."

Madrid have a star studded line up, but in Julian Draxler, Schalke have their own future superstar. The German international is working his way back to full fitness after injury, as is captain Benedikt Howedes.

Also retuning to the side after suspension is Luka Modric. his stand-in Asier Illarramendi made good on his opportunity, scoring the first of his side's three goals against Elche over the weekend. 

It is no secret that they are a side who possess some of the world's top attacking talents. But Carlo Ancelotti knows his side will have to work had to achieve victory in Germany.

"I predict an intense match and I think Schalke will give everything in going for the win," he explained.

"We know all about their qualities. They are very well-organised, especially at the back, and have a good balance between young talented players like Max Meyer and Julian Draxler, and players with a lot of experience like Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. They do not play spectacular football but they are solid and consistent."

"I do not have to tell my players much – they want to win every competition. At the moment the team are in a good shape, but we have to prepare for every match very methodically so that our run continues."

Currently top of the Liga BBVA and into the final of the Copa Del Rey, Madrid are flying high. Ronaldo scored nine goals in five group stage matches, and the team bagged 20 in total.

However free-scoring Madrid will have a tough time breaking down their opposition But if one goes in, the floodgates could open.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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