The UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday as the 16th round progresses, and what a way to start things. Paris Saint-Germain will welcome Real Madrid to what is widely regarded as the tie of the round, especially for PSG duo Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe for various reasons.
Sporting CP host Manchester City at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in another first-leg match, with Ruben Amorim’s boys hoping to surprise the England champions.
However, what are the numbers for the opening matches of the Champions League? Stats Perform looks to determine who can come out on top.
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid
Real Madrid are a bit limited to PSG in their last 10 meetings in the European Championship, with four wins and three defeats. The French team led 2-1 in the playoffs, knocking Madrid out of the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup in 1992-93 and the quarter-finals of the 1993-94 Cup Winners’ Cup.
The final meeting between the two reached the group stage of the 2019-20 Champions League, the match ended 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu. PSG won the previous match at Parc des Princes 3-0, finishing five points ahead of Madrid in Group A.
Los Blancos won their last Champions League match in Paris, defeating PSG 2-1 in the second leg of the round of 16 in 2017-18.
PSG will be hoping to improve their home record, having won just one of their last six Champions League games, a race that includes four defeats.
Since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, Mbappe – who is linked with a move to Madrid at the end of his contract at the end of the season – has been more involved in open-ended gaming programs (17) than any other. the player in the Champions League. He also has the highest expected involvement in the goal-setting of any player at this time (16.4).
Mbappe’s French team-mate Karim Benzema, who is preparing for the game, has found the net in each of the last four Champions League places. If he does that again on Tuesday, he will be just the third player to score five points in a row for Madrid in this tournament, after Cristiano Ronaldo (four times, between 2013 and 2018) and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2007.
The Spanish Bulls have won all three of their group games without conceding a goal. The only previous Champions League campaign in which they won their first four away games was in 2014-15, when Carlo Ancelotti took over.
Sporting CP v Manchester City
Sporting and City have only faced each other twice in the European Championship, which was their two legs in the round of 16 of the 2011-12 Europa League, with the Portuguese team trailing by away goals.
City have won just once in their last six matches in Portugal (D2 L3), including their 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Chelsea in Porto last year.
Sporting will be the second time Sporting has played in the Champions League 16th round of the Champions League, with the last 12-1 loss to Bayern Munich in 2008-09, the biggest defeat in the tournament’s history.
City have retained one clean sheet in their last 11 games in the Champions League and have been released at least once in all six group games this season. However, if they win the match, Pep Guardiola’s side will be the first team in Champions League history to win five games in a row in the final.
Sports manager Amorim, 37, 19 days old, will become the second Portuguese coach to host the Champions League semi-final after Andre Villas-Boas (34 years and 127 days) and Chelsea face Napoli on Sunday. 2011- 12. Villas-Boas was dismissed before the second leg.
Of the Portuguese players, only Ronaldo (six goals) has scored more goals in the Champions League this season than Sporting’s Pedro Goncalves (five – four points, one assist) and Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo (five – two goals, three assisted).
Saturday’s 4-0 win over Norwich City was the first time Riyad Mahrez had failed to score a goal for City since the beginning of December. The first of seven goals scored was the Champions League final, a 2-1 defeat at RB Leipzig.
Mahrez has scored nine goals in the last 10 games in the Champions League and has been directly involved in six goals in his last six games in the exit rounds (four goals, two assists). Since the start of last season, Mahrez has scored at least four goals in this tournament more than any other City player (Gabriel Jesus follows with five).