Salzburg need Austrian first as Bellingham looks to match Mbappe, Haaland – Champions League in Opta Numbers

By Sports Desk November 02, 2022

Salzburg will have to do what no other Austrian side has done before at Milan to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, while Jude Bellingham has his eyes on an achievement managed by only two players previously.

The Rossoneri need only a point from the game at San Siro and the historical facts suggest they will achieve their aim to make it out of Group E.

For Bellingham, he can put his name in the record books alongside former team-mate Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe by scoring for Borussia Dortmund at Copenhagen.

There is plenty to play for as the Champions League group stage wraps up on Wednesday, and Stats Perform has trawled through the data to shine a light on the most interesting angles.

Milan v Salzburg

With a win, Salzburg will advance to the knockout stages for the second consecutive season after never making it out of the group stage previously.

They will need to defy the odds on their trip to Milan, where the Italian side are undefeated in home fixtures against Austrian opponents in the competition (W4 D1), while averaging 3.8 goals per game.

Salzburg have never beaten Milan in their three previous Champions League meetings, but after losing the first two, they collected their first point with a 1-1 draw in this campaign's reverse fixture.

While Olivier Giroud became the oldest player in Champions League history to reach 20 goals (36 years old) during Milan's win at Dinamo Zagreb last time out, Salzburg boast the youngest starting XI in the competition with an average age of 22 years and 279 days.

Shakhtar Donetsk v RB Leipzig

Shakhtar have only won one game in the group stage, but sit three points behind second-placed. A win would see them through to the knockout stages for the third time in the past four seasons.

The reverse-fixture was a memorable one for Shakhtar and exciting young winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who showed why he is so in-demand with a goal and two assists in a 4-1 away win.

Unfortunately for the Ukrainian side, that was their only victory from their past 12 Champions League matches (D6 L5).

Meanwhile, Leipzig have found some form in the competition, with back-to-back victories against Celtic before making it three wins in a row when they beat Real Madrid 3-2.

Manchester City v Sevilla

City are eyeing an undefeated group stage when they host Sevilla, having only conceded one goal in total from their five games until this point.

English sides have given Sevilla trouble for years now, with their last Champions League win over a Premier League team coming back in 2007 against Arsenal. 

If Jorge Sampaoli's side are to stand any chance of a shock win, they will need to pay special attention to Jack Grealish, who has impressed in the group stage with 10 chances created from open play, the most in Pep Guardiola's squad.

Maccabi Haifa v Benfica

If Juventus can salvage even a draw in their clash with Paris Saint-Germain, then Benfica will be able to win Group H by defeating Maccabi Haifa.

It has been a special run of form for Benfica, who for the first time since 1990 have gone six Champions League games without a loss (W3 D3).

Maccabi will have their backs against the wall, as only Malmo have a worse winning percentage (17 per cent) than their 24 per cent among teams to have played at least 15 Champions League games.

Also working in Benfica's favour is manager Roger Schmidt's record in the competition. Between his time with Bayer Leverkusen (2014-2017) and Benfica in this campaign, his run of 13 games unbeaten is the most by any active manager qualified for this season's Champions League.

Other fixtures:

Juventus v Paris Saint-Germain

- Juventus are looking to avoid becoming the second Italian side to ever lose five matches in a Champions League group stage, after Roma in 2004-05.

- Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe has six goals in the group stage. With one more he can tie Christopher Nkunku (last season) for the most by a French player in a single group stage, while with two more he can tie Zlatan Ibrahimovic's club-record of eight in 2013-14.

Copenhagen v Borussia Dortmund

60  - Despite Copenhagen still being without a win in Group G, they have kept a clean sheet in 60 per cent (nine-of-15) of their Champions League home games – the best ratio of any team with at least 10 appearances.

- With a goal, Bellingham can become just the third teenager to ever score in all three away games in a Champions League group stage, following Mbappe (2017-18) and Haaland (2019-20).

Chelsea v Dinamo Zagreb

10  - Chelsea are undefeated in their past 10 group stage games in the Champions League dating back to September 2019 (W6 D4). Over that period, they are averaging 2.3 goals per game.

10  - Along with City's Grealish, Chelsea's Mason Mount is the only other Premier League player from this Champions League campaign to tally at least 10 shots and 10 chances created.

Real Madrid v Celtic

20  - Since the beginning of last season's Champions League, no player has been involved in more open-play sequences that have resulted in a goal than Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior (20).

14  - Celtic's Matt O'Riley has attempted the most shots in the Champions League this season without scoring, with no goals from his 14 shots.

Related items

  • Football rumours: Manchester United in the hunt for Ross Barkley Football rumours: Manchester United in the hunt for Ross Barkley
    What the papers say

    Luton midfielder Ross Barkley, 30, is a surprise target for Manchester United, reports The Sun. The former Everton player previously had a spell at Nice, where Sir Jim Ratcliffe is owner.

    Ratcliffe wants United to draw up a new pay structure. According to the Daily Mirror, the new investor wants salaries to be more dependent on success.

    Arsenal are targeting teenage striker Kenan Yildiz, although Juventus have set an asking price of £51million, according to The Sun. The 18-year-old has made 15 appearances for the Italian side since joining from Bayern Munich.

    West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta, 26, could be a target for Manchester City. The Daily Telegraph reports the Brazilian is a possible replacement for Bernardo Silva, 29, if he leaves the club.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Jack Harrison: The winger, 27, wants to stay at Everton when his loan move from Leeds ends in the summer, according to Football Insider.

    Evan Ferguson: Arsenal are keeping tabs on the 19-year-old Brighton and Republic of Ireland striker, reports Football Insider.

  • Lionel Messi strikes late to earn point for Inter Miami Lionel Messi strikes late to earn point for Inter Miami

    Lionel Messi grabbed his first goal of the Major League Soccer season as he grabbed a 1-1 draw for Inter Miami with a stoppage-time equaliser at LA Galaxy.

    Dejan Joveljic’s goal 15 minutes from time had looked like earning Galaxy the win.

    But Messi popped up two minutes into added time, exchanging a pair of one-twos with Jordi Alba as he made his way into the box before lifting the ball over goalkeeper John McCarthy.

    Inter dominated possession, but managed just five shots in target throughout the match as Galaxy came closest to breaking the deadlock.

    Riqui Puig missed a golden opportunity after 13 minutes when his penalty was saved by Drake Callender.

    They had to wait until late in the second half for Joveljic to tap in Mark Delgado’s cross after Puig’s shot had run loose.

    Galaxy finished the game with 10 men as Marco Delgado picked up a second yellow card after 88 minutes.

  • Luka Modric fires Real Madrid to victory over Sevilla with brilliant late winner Luka Modric fires Real Madrid to victory over Sevilla with brilliant late winner

    Luka Modric rolled back the years with a stunning late winner for Real Madrid against Sevilla and spoil Sergio Ramos’ return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    The 38-year-old Modric – a 75th-minute substitute – had been on the pitch six minutes when he superbly controlled Loic Bade’s tired header and curled home from 20 yards to secure a 1-0 win.

    The goal was clouded in controversy, however, as Sevilla felt Antonio Rudiger was offside in the build-up, with replacement referee Carlos Fernandez Buergo adjudging that the German defender was not interfering with play.

    Modric’s former team-mate Ramos must have thought he would be part of a Sevilla clean sheet on his return to the club he represented 671 times and won 22 major honours for between 2005 and 2021.

    Lucas Vazquez saw his 10th-minute effort disallowed for offside on a largely frustrating night for Real.

    But Los Blancos finally found a way through to extend their LaLiga lead over Barcelona to eight points and nine to Girona, who have a game in hand against Rayo Vallecano on Monday.

    England midfielder Jude Bellingham was absent for a third successive Real game because of an ankle sprain, while Dani Carvajal and Eduardo Camavinga missed out through suspension.

    Sevilla should have been ahead inside eight minutes as Isaac Romero crossed and Youssef En-Nesyri smashed wide from 10 yards.

    There was almost instant controversy as Nacho went in to the back of En-Nesyri but play was allowed to continue.

    Vinicius Junior found Vazquez with a delightful pass and the former Spain international fired in off a post.

    Sevilla players were enraged that the game was not stopped for a foul on En-Nesyri and surrounded referee Isidro Diaz de Mera.

    Two minutes elapsed before Diaz de Mera went to the VAR monitor, booking an animated Real manager Carlo Ancelotti on his way, and eventually disallowed the goal.

    Sevilla’s organised 5-3-2 shape – with Ramos at the heart of the defence – caused further frustration as Real struggled to make headway.

    Brahim Diaz dribbled into the visitors’ penalty area for Aurelien Tchouameni to ripple the side-netting with a deflected attempt.

    Fede Valverde forced Sevilla goalkeeper Orjan Nyland to tip over in spectacular fashion and then scuffed against the post just after the break.

    The contest began to open up and Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin denied Romero with an outstanding reaction stop.

    Real asked most of the second-half questions and Rodrygo shot wide after a fantastic run, while Nyland’s agility kept Vinicius at bay.

    There was a refereeing change as Diaz de Mera suffered a calf injury and fourth official Buergo took charge of LaLiga action for the first time.

    But the biggest alteration saw Modric strike an absolute beauty off a post and keep Real in command at the top.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.