Soccer Picks: Schalke 04 vs. Galatasaray in Champion League

Steven Suarez

Monday, March 11, 2013 5:29 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 11, 2013 5:29 PM GMT

Not only are the Germans in fantastic form right now, they're also at home for the second leg of this Champions League tie against Galatasaray. Can they advance on to the next round?

Odds Overview

With the soccer odds trading at roughly 2/3, the Royal Blues are the firm favorites at home for Tuesday's match.

A Galatasaray win would give you 16/5 in profit, with a draw at 14/5. Only two goals were scored in a very disciplined defensive performance from both sides in the first leg back in Turkey, so keep that in mind if you are thinking of placing your sports picks on the total.

[gameodds]8/221188/43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Schalke 04 

A highly respectable performance in the first leg has boosted Schalke's form back in Bundesliga play.

The Royal Blues have recorded three consecutive victories since that day, beating Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 and VFL Wolfsburg 4-1. The best result by far though was their 2-1 victory over a very strong Borussia Dortmund side this past weekend.

Another Champions League side, Dortmund have looked terrific this season, but Schalke got the three points on this day thanks to Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who both scored in the first half.

It was a massive result that propelled the Royal Blues into the fourth spot in the league standings. They're also just seven points back of Dortmund for the second spot, and six points behind third-place Bayer Leverkusen and an automatic Champions League spot for next season.

An on-form Huntelaar would have spelled trouble for the Turks, considering he had scored in two straight matches, but he suffered a knee injury and will miss at least two months. Obviously a significant blow for Schalke there.

Galatasaray

We mentioned how Schalke has been buoyed by the first leg result, but the same can't be said for Galatasaray.

Immediately following the draw, Gala feasted on Orduspor at home in a 4-2 win. However, a week later they had to settle for a 0-0 deadlock away versus Eskisehirspor K. Over the weekend, the Turkish giants were bested at home by Genclerbirligi in a 1-0 defeat.

With the Super Lig season coming to a close, now is not the time for Gala to fall victim to complacency.

Having only secured one point total in their recent two matches, the lead atop the table now stands at just two points, with both Besiktas and Fenerbache right there in the running to spoil Gala's season right at the finish.

The Turks will close the year with a tricky away fixture against Kayserispor, but first they'll do their best to get the better of Schalke in what's going to be another immense atmosphere in Germany. Can Didier Drogba or Wesley Sneijder be a hero?

Champions League Pick

The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, with Burak Yilmaz scoring for the Turks and Schalke's Jermaine Jones notching a crucial away goal right before halftime.

That means the Germans are in the driver's seat here, especially on their home pitch, where they've lost just three of thirteen matches in league play this season.

With the Royal Blues as confident as they've ever been and Galatasaray sort of going the other way, we believe the hosts will get the result they need and secure advancement to the next round. In a match that may not have that many clear-cut chances, the away goal could end up making the difference.

That said, we are selecting Schalke with our soccer picks for this game, though we really like the UNDER 2.5 goals as well.

Soccer Pick: Schalke 0 Galatasaray 0

Aggregate: Schalke 1 Galatasaray 1 (Schalke advances on away goals)

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