Champions League stats you need to know: Man City’s reliance on Haaland, Liverpool’s defense against Real Madrid and more

By the time Wednesday afternoon rolls around, the quarter-final field for this season’s Champions League will have been decided. You can catch all the action Tuesday and Wednesday on Paramount+. milan, Benfica, Chelsea and Bayern Munich earned their places last week with half the pitch already decided.

Before the action begins, here’s some key information you need to know about each team to help you determine who will advance or go home.

1. City of Manchester against RB Leipzig

Selected game | Manchester City vs RB Leipzig

City of Manchester: Erling Haaland34 goals
This is a simple one. He has an amazing percentage of 34 goals in 35 games. This means that Haaland has scored 36.5% of all Manchester City goals in all competitions. This also means that Pep Guardiola’s team is very different to how it has operated in the past. last season, Kevin de Bruyne led City with 15 goals in all competitions. This resulted in 15.6% of all City goals. You wouldn’t exactly call City a one-man team. Almost two-thirds of their goals come from someone not named Haaland, but the big man’s power is clearly the essence of this team.

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RB Leipzig: Dominik Szoboszlai, 13 assists
Man City may have a featured player and a reserve group, but RB Leipzig are spreading the love around. In all competitions, four players have nine goals or more: Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner, Andres Silva and Emil Forsberg. But it’s Szoboszlai who runs the deal with 13 assists. He has eight assists if we filter in Bundesliga stats alone, which is twice as many as anyone else on his team and tied for second in the league, behind only Randal Kolo Muani (we’d have more on him later, but he’s been suspended for the Frankfurt game with Napoli).

But while most multi-assist players far exceed expected assists (Kolo Muani’s xGA is 3.5, for example), Szoboszlai’s total is an impressive 6.6, also good for second in the Bundesliga this season time behind only Borussia Monchengladbach’s Jonas Hoffman. has seven assists at 7.1 xGA. It’s hard to predict who will score in Leipzig, but whoever it is, there’s a good chance Szoboszlai will get the ball.

2. FC Porto against Inter

Selected game | Porto vs Inter

FC Porto: Evanilson xG + xGA per 90, 0.97
Evanilson may not be back from a muscle injury to start for Porto, and that’s a huge problem. Whether he’s a rookie or a super, he has the numbers that scream “breakout star” thanks to his massive 0.78 xG per 90 minutes. Being a center forward, it’s a bit surprising that he has a 0.19 expected goal assist over the same percentage. However, Porto will struggle to replace his production even with the ever-capable Mehdi Taremi on hand.

Inter: 3.87 xG vs. Spezia
Inter suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Spezia on Friday — the sort of result against inferior opposition that might cause all sorts of alarm under normal circumstances. Then check out this download map.

twenty 3

That’s 28 shots at 3.87 xG for those of you keeping score at home. That’s an xG outing for the season and second-highest sack total all season. So, I think it’s okay. Sometimes the ball, hilariously, just doesn’t go into the net.

3. Real Madrid vs. Liverpool

Selected game | Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Liverpool: Four games under 1.0 xG conceded
Football is a funny old game. Ever since losing 5-2 to Real Madrid in their Champions League opener, Liverpool seem to have improved their defence. They have yet to concede more than 1.0 xG since that match. Before this four-game streak, they’ve only done it seven times all season. Four of the seven came in the Champions League group stage: Twice against Rangers, once against Ajax and once in a dead rubber against Napoli (Napoli, it should be noted, had a whopping 4.0 xG total in the match that mattered). And yet, in those four matches, Liverpool managed to lose once Bournemouth and draw once against Crystal Palace. Of course, they broke out in the 7-0 defeat against the other side Manchester United. So who knows.

Real Madrid: Nine shots
It took just nine shots for Real Madrid to score five goals against Liverpool. It was the lowest shot possible in their last 16 games. It was one of four times this season they were held to under 10 shots. One of the other three incidents came in a cup game against a lower division team where one assumes they were mostly just going through the motions. The other two came against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. So Liverpool seem to have done a lot right against Real Madrid, apart from the most important thing. Real Madrid have an overwhelming lead in these two leagues, but it’s simply impossible not to get the feeling that these teams are very, very strange. Who knows what might happen.

4. Napoli vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Selected game | Napoli vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt: Radal Kolo Muani, 21 combined goals and assists
These are Randal Kolo Muani’s combined goals and assists in the Bundesliga. His team has a total of 45 league goals. That means he’s somehow responsible for almost half of Frankfurt’s goals. He is ruled out for the second leg against Napoli. Napoli is probably the best team in the world. Not great for Frankfurt.

Napoli: 1.08 expected goal difference per match
Napoli have come out of nowhere this season to establish themselves as clear favorites to win Serie A, with a comfortable 18-point cushion at the top of the table. Usually, when something this unexpected happens, it means a team is incredibly lucky or hot in a way that suggests they might not really be as good as advertised. You can argue that the football gods have blessed this club, especially when you consider that their goal difference of 1.69 per game is far greater than their xG difference of 1.08 per game.

Here’s the thing: That xG differential — the difference between how much they’re expected to score and concede on average given the chances they create — is the fifth-best total in Europe’s top five leagues. Even if you want to suggest that 1.08 xGD per 90 represents their ‘true’ level, only Manchester City, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are ahead of them. Napoli sit comfortably between Bayern and PSG on this list. Godspeed in Frankfurt.

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