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5 key stats to note ahead of Rof16 UCL ties

DID YOU KNOW? 5 key stats to note ahead of UCL Round of 16 games

February 14, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
The Champions League will soon resume action, and ahead of the eight games in store, here are some interesting key stats and facts to consider.

After a long wait, Europe's premier club competition, known to all as the UEFA Champions League, gets back underway. 16 teams remain at this juncture, with Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Inter, Juventus, PSG, Lille, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Bayern Munich, Salzburg, Ajax, Benfica, and Sporting CP all hoping to win it while Chelsea seeks to successfully defend their crown.

Of course, some of these aforementioned teams have a more realistic chance at winning the coveted prize than others, but in theory at least, any team in the round of 16 could make it to the showpiece final in a few months' time.

Ahead of the round of 16, we've got five interesting stats and facts for you to mull over as we all get ready for the games set to be played over the next two weeks.

1. Bayern's impeccable record against Austrian opposition

This will probably not come as a shock to most football fans, especially given Bayern's overall dominance in domestic and international competitions over the past decade. Although die Roten will come into their upcoming tie with Salzburg having suffered a shock 4-2 loss to Bochum at the weekend, and will be missing first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, it's safe to say that the advantage still rests with Julian Naglesmann's side.

Not only did they beat Salzburg thoroughly in last season's group stage (3-1 home and 6-2 away) but Bayern are unbeaten in all nine of their prior meetings against Austrian sides (W7, D2). In addition, they come into this contest with the best attack (22 goals scored) and the joint-strongest defense (three goals conceded), with Robert Lewandowski scoring nine of those goals.

2. PSG and Real Madrid - familiar foes reunite again

It's safe to say that PSG and Real Madrid are quite well acquainted with each other, as this will be the 11th meeting between Les Parisiens and Los Blancos. So far, the head to head is actually pretty balanced, with Real Madrid having won four times to PSG's three. It'll also be the fourth time they're meeting in the knockout stages, and after two disappointing ventures which saw them eliminated in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals and again during the 1993/94 Cup Winner's Cup quarter-finals, Real Madrid finally got the win they were keenly seeking when they knocked them out at this juncture during the 2017/18 iteration of the Champions League.

3. Manchester City's Portuguese hoodoo

Despite being firmly in control of the Premier League and being viewed as one of the heavy favorites to win the Champions League this season, Manchester City may be a bit nervous about taking on Sporting. On paper, it may not seem logical, but if one takes a closer look at the Cityzen's history when it comes to playing in Portugal, it may make a bit more sense.

This will be the second meeting between City and Sporting CP in European competition. Interestingly, their first was also in the round of 16, albeit in the Europa League, and it was the Portuguese side who progressed on away goals a decade ago. This is Sporting's only second foray into the round of 16, with their first being against Bayern, and in a typical ruthless Bayern showing, die Roten crushed them 12-1 on aggregate. Nonetheless, they may take some hope in the fact that, as mentioned before, City hasn't done well when they've had to play on Portuguese turf. Indeed, out of their six trips to Portugal, City have won just once (D2 L3), and that includes losing 1-0 to Chelsea in last season's Champions League final.

4. Liverpool looking to "pull a Spurs" ten years on

Liverpool will be facing Italian opposition for the second time in the Champions League, with their opponents being reigning Scudetto champs Inter in the round of 16. The Reds easily dispatched Inter's cross-town rivals Milan both home and away, thus ending the Diavolo's hopes of making a grand entrance back into the Champions League after nearly a decade away. If they can also beat Inter, Jurgen Klopp's men will become the first team since Harry Redknapp's Spurs defeated both the Nerazzurri and the Rossoneri during the 2010/11 edition. However, Inter have won their last two home games in the Champions League, and will be determined to avoid being eliminated by an English side in what will be their fourth meeting in a two-legged tie since the Champions League was reformatted in 1992.

Additionally, Jurgen Klopp could become only the eighth manager and first German tactician to reach at least 50 wins in this competition if Liverpool can pick up at win at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

5. Villarreal vs Juventus - a first time matchup

Of all the fixtures, only Villarreal and Juventus have never met before at this stage, making this game a unique one in itself. The Yellow Submarine are back in the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time in 13 years and their third time overall, while the Bianconeri will be featuring at this stage for the eighth successful season. However, Juventus don't have a good track record when it comes to facing Spanish sides on the road, with a record of W7 D7 L17 so far, but they have won ten of their last 17 two-legged clashes against Spanish sides.

Make sure you don't miss out on these key games and stay on top of all the action by checking out our bespoke UEFA Champions League match page. 

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