As the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League kicks off, there are a few stats that could prove to be crucial in determining the fate of the teams. Here are some of the most important stats to know going into the next round of games:
Man City’s Haaland Dependency:
It is no secret that Erling Haaland is one of the most in-form players in the world right now. The Norwegian striker has been a revelation since joining Borussia Dortmund and has scored 10 goals in just six Champions League games this season. However, his team faces a daunting task in the round of 16 against Manchester City, who are the favorites to win the competition this year.
The Cityzens have been in superb form lately, winning their last 19 games in all competitions. They also have the best defense in the Premier League this season and have only conceded four goals in their last 14 matches. However, Pep Guardiola’s side could have a Haaland-shaped problem on their hands as they have struggled against teams with a prolific striker this season.
In their last Champions League game against PSG, City were constantly troubled by Kylian Mbappe, who scored twice in the first leg. They also struggled against Harry Kane and Heung-min Son in the group stage games against Tottenham Hotspur. City will need to find a way to nullify Haaland’s threat if they want to progress to the next round of the competition.
Liverpool’s Defense vs. Real Madrid:
Liverpool have endured a difficult season so far, particularly in defense. The Reds have been hit with a spate of injuries to their key defenders, including Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip. However, they have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks and have kept clean sheets in their last three Premier League games.
Their defense will be put to the test against Real Madrid in the round of 16. The Spanish giants have a wealth of attacking talent, including Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, and Marco Asensio. However, Real Madrid have had their own defensive issues this season and have conceded an average of 1.3 goals per game in La Liga.
One interesting stat to note is that Liverpool have never lost a home game in the knockout stages of the Champions League under Jurgen Klopp. The Reds have won 11 and drawn three of their 14 knockout games at Anfield. However, they will need to be at their best defensively if they want to get a positive result against Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich’s Dominance:
Bayern Munich are the defending champions of the Champions League and are once again among the favorites to win the competition this year. The German giants have been in sensational form in the competition so far, winning all six of their group stage games and scoring a whopping 18 goals in the process.
Bayern have also been dominant domestically this season, sitting at the top of the Bundesliga table with a comfortable lead. They have scored the most goals in the league this season and have the second-best defense.
One interesting stat to note is that Bayern have won their last 19 Champions League games, which is a new record in the competition. They will face Lazio in the round of 16 and will be expected to come out on top, given their form and pedigree in the competition.
In conclusion, these stats show that there are no easy games in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Teams will need to be at their best and find ways to exploit their opponents’ weaknesses if they want to progress to the next round of the competition. The next few weeks promise to be full of drama, excitement, and surprises.