Our match prediction:
Allianz Riviera will host the match between Nice and Schalke. Les Aiglons are on a four-game unbeaten run ahead of the Europa League clash against die Knappen and they will be looking to build on a thrilling 3-2 win over Olympique Marseille. Over the years Nice have turned their Allianz Riviera into a real fortress and seeing that they defeated Apollon in their previous home game in the Europa League, we would not be surprised if the Ligue 1 team emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match. Despite producing a fine performance against Bayern Munich at the weekend, Schalke eventually suffered a 2-0 loss to Robert Lewandowski and Co. and it has to be noted that they have yet to find the net in the national championship this season. Schalke often struggle on the travels and we predict that the Germans are going to return home empty-handed.
Highligted Player (Balotelli):
Mario Balotelli is a controversial footballer who played for both Inter and Milan in the past. The Italian attacker, who was born on 12 August, 1990, started his senior career at Lumezzane and in 2007 he signed a contract with the Nerazzurri. After scoring 20 goals in 59 league appearances with Inter, he moved to Manchester City in 2010. Super Mario spent three seasons at the Etihad Stadium and he returned to Serie A in 2013, signing a deal with Inter’s fiercest rivals Milan this time out. Balotelli scored 26 goals in 43 league games with the Rossoneri, but in the summer of 2014 he signed for Liverpool for a fee of £16 million. The Italian attacker is well known for his powerful shoot, but he often struggles to control his volatile temper. Super Mario impressed at the 2012 European Championship finals and he helped Italy make it to the final of the tournament. However, Spain proved to be a big catch for the Azzurri in the title game.
Highlighted Team (Schalke 04):
Schalke 04 are a professional football club founded in 1904. Die Knappen (The Miners) compete in German Bundesliga and they have won seven domestic titles. Schalke have clinched five German Cup trophies as well, while lifting the UEFA Cup title in 1997. The German club defeated Italian side Inter on penalties in the title game and that was the last time the final of the competition was played in a two-legged format. Schalke 04 play their home matches at Veltins-Arena, the stadium that has been the home of the team since 2001. The capacity of Veltins-Arena is 62,271. It is well known that Borussia Dortmund are Schalke’s main rivals and the Ruhy neighbours face each other in the Revierderby. The likes of Klaus Fichtel (477), Norbert Nigbur (355), Rolf Russmann (304), Klaus Fischer (295), Olaf Thon (295) and Herbert Lutkebohmert (286) are the players with most appearances for die Knappen. The colour of Schalke’s home kit is blue.