Haaland looking to teach Leipzig another lesson, can Inter halt Porto charge? - Champions League in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk February 22, 2023

Erling Haaland should be licking his lips at the prospect of facing RB Leipzig when Manchester City continue their quest to lift the Champions League for the first time on Wednesday.

City travel to Leipzig for the first leg of their round of 16 tie smarting from slipping off the top of the Premier League table with a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The combination of both City and striker Haaland's great record against the Bundesliga side would suggest they ought to secure a place in the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

Inter have home advantage when they face Porto in the other round of 16 first-leg clash on Wednesday and the Serie A side boast an impressive home record against Portuguese clubs.

Stats Perform pick out the standout Opta data to preview the matches at Red Bull Arena and San Siro.

 

RB Leipzig v Manchester City

Former Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland will return to Germany to come up against a club that he has fond memories of facing.

The Norway international's finishing let him down at the City Ground at the weekend, but Leipzig know all about the threat he poses.

Haaland has found the back of the net six times in four games against Leipzig, scoring three braces against them during his time with Dortmund.

City have only lost one of their previous 17 matches against German sides in the Champions League (W14 D2), with the Premier League champions scoring an average of 2.6 goals per game in those fixtures. Their only defeat came away to Leipzig in last season’s group stage, when Pep Guardiola's side had already qualified for the last 16.

Leipzig will fancy their chances of causing an upset, though, as they have won each of their past four Champions League matches – which is their best run in the competition.

Only Julian Nagelsmann in the 2019-20 season – when they reached the semi-final – has won more matches in a Champions League campaign (six) in charge of RB Leipzig than Marco Rose's four this term.

Inter v Porto

Porto travel to Milan on a magnificent unbeaten run that stretches back to October 21.

Sergio Conceicao's tally of 30 Champions League wins is more than any other Porto boss has achieved and his 50 per cent win rate in the competition is second only to Julen Lopetegui's 56 per cent during his tenure.

This will be the 10th time Inter have hosted a Portuguese side in European competition. They are unbeaten in the previous nine – eight of which have been victories. The only side to avoid defeat were Boavista, in a goalless UEFA Cup draw back in 1991.

Edin Dzeko has been directly involved in four goals in six Champions League games this season – scoring three and proving one assist. That is more than any other Inter player.

Porto have won four successive Champions League games and will be aiming to equal their longest winning run in the competition – a run of five between October and December 2018, which was also set under Conceicao.

Mehdi Taremi has been directly involved in seven goals in five games for Porto in the Champions League this term – with five goals and two assists. That is the most by a player in a single campaign for the club since Moussa Marega's eight in the 2018-19 campaign.

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    Liverpool’s 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace compounded Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League quarter-final defeat at the hands of Atalanta in what could prove Klopp’s final European night at Anfield.

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    Liverpool are hoping for an almighty change in fortunes at Atalanta on Thursday, when the second leg could see Alexander-Arnold make his first start since February 10.

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    “Incredible, really,” Alexander-Arnold said. “I owe everything to him, really, as a player.

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    Alexander-Arnold is expecting it to feel “weird” returning to pre-season without Klopp, although he likes the idea of a “new challenge” under an as yet undetermined new boss.

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    The 21-year-old’s remarkable first season at Chelsea just keeps getting better. Palmer, who did not score a league goal for Manchester City, has notched 10 in his last five league matches, rocketing into Golden Boot contention.

    Erling Haaland (Man City) – 20 goals in 26 appearances

    Haaland set the Premier League ablaze in 2022-23, claiming a new record of 36 goals in a season. The 23-year-old started like a train again this season before missing five games with a foot injury. Since returning in January he has scored six in 11 appearances, underwhelming by his standards, but the Norway hit man remains a heavy favourite to retain the Golden Boot.

    Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 19 goals in 32 appearances

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    Alexander Isak (Newcastle) – 17 goals in 24 appearances

    Isak has more than justified Newcastle’s outlay of around £60million after a thigh injury limited his impact in his first campaign at St James’ Park. The 24-year-old is the first Newcastle player since Alan Shearer in 2003-04 to score 20 goals in a season for the club in all competitions.

    Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 17 goals in 26 appearances

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    Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) – 17 goals in 32 appearances

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