Despite playing tomorrow night, Chelsea’s reach extends to this game, with two former managers coming face to face in the form of Carlo Ancelotti, and Roberto di Mateo.
Both men know what it takes to steer a club to success in Europe. Ancelotti did it twice with Milan, and the honours last year with Madrid as well; di Matteo’s record is more modest, having taken a sole cup with Chelsea back in 2012.
While both managers have a rich history, it’s not an area that Schalke can rely on, after losing the first leg (A home tie for them) 2-0, and receiving a complete thumping this time last year. The match tonight is an exact copy of 2013/14’s Round of 16 match, in which Schalke lost 3-1, off the back of a 7-1 rout in the first leg.
They can take solace however, from the home side’s domestic form. At the end of 2014, Madrid were sitting on a 22-game win streak, and though 2015 has only produced three losses, they are not the invincible machine they were before festivities commenced, and have been overtaken by old enemy Barcelona in the league.
Madrid suffered a 1-0 defeat to mid-table Athletic Club at the weekend; contrast that with Schalke’s 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim, and it makes tonight’s game tougher to predict.
Schalke’s past is against them, but their present more promising for the future, especially considering Klaas Jan Huntelaar is back from injury.
It all comes down to tenses and tension.