Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 will be hoping lightning doesn't strike twice as they prepare to face Real Madrid CF in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening (kick-off 20:45 CET / 19:45 GMT).

Almost exactly a year ago, the Royal Blues were beaten 6-1 at home by the Spanish giants, who went on to lift the trophy in Lisbon. previews the latest meeting between the two sides...

Schalke are looking to progress beyond the last 16 stage for the first time in three seasons, having been knocked out at the same stage by Madrid twelve months ago and by Turkish side Galatasaray SK in 2012/13. Record ten-time winners Real, on the other hand, have not fallen short of the last four in any of the last four campaigns and will be confident of reaching the quarter-finals after their 9-2 aggregate win over die Knappen last year.

With out with a groin injury and Ralf Fährmann still sidelined with a knee problem, 19-year-old (r.) is set for the biggest game of his young career in the Schalke goal. Roberto Di Matteo has already said he has full faith in the rookie custodian.

German World Cup winner Sami Khedira and Spain defender Sergio Ramos are both sidelined with hamstring injuries, while James Rodriguez broke his toe at the beginning of the month, ruling the Colombian attacker out for two months. Luca Modric and Fabio Coentrao are also unavailable for selection.

Those 12 goals seem insignificant when compared with the record of back-to-back Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted 17 times in last year's victorious campaign alone. The Portuguese, also voted UEFA Best Player in Europe for 2014 is only on five for this campaign, but give him an inch and he takes a mile. Wellenreuther and the Schalke rearguard will have to be on red alert.

Huntelaar (r.): "We gave away the last home match against Real too easily. We have to do things better this time."

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid midfielder): "You don't win anything just by turning up, not even when you are Real. Only if we play well in both games will we go through."

Schalke's promising start to 2015 suffered a setback at the weekend when they were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt - their first defeat since Matchday 15. Real were recently humbled 4-0 by the side they beat in last year's Champions League final, Club Atletico de Madrid, but they bounced back to beat RC Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend to retain a one-point advantage at the top of the Primera Division.

Last season's last 16 encounter was the first between these two clubs, but Schalke weren't the only Bundesliga side to be knocked out by Real: fierce local rivals Borussia Dortmund were eliminated by the Merengues in the quarter-finals, while FC Bayern München were beaten in the last four. In 2012/13, four Robert Lewandowski goals condemned Madrid to a 4-1 defeat in the semi-final second leg at the Signal Iduna Park.

Possible line-ups:

Schalke: Wellenreuther - Höwedes, Matip, Nastasic - Uchida, Fuchs - Kirchhoff - Höger, Boateng - Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar

Real: Casillas - Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo - Illarramendi, Kroos, Isco - Bale, Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo