Real Madrid faces Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 this Wednesday at Santiago Bernabéu. The last time these two teams played in the knockout stages was in the 2016 semi-final, where Real Madrid came out on top 1-0 over the 2 legs.
Now let’s look at the statistics and compare the two leading into Wednesday night’s game.
Benzema is Real Madrid’s best attacker with 14 goals, ranking 17th on most goals ranking of the top 5 European leagues. For Manchester City Aguero is the best attacker with 16 goals sitting 8th.
Interestingly though are the stats when looking at the players' conversion of shots into goals. Benzema converts a total of 16.09% of shots but has a 38.84% conversion rate inside the box. Aguero, however, converts on 24.24% of shots but is incredibly dangerous in the box with a 68.18% conversion rate.
Aguero has scored the most difficult chance this season with a xG value – a value that indicates the probability of the chance to score - of 0.11 against Aston Villa, the same game Manchester City scored the goal with the most passes this season converted by de Jesus from 23 passes.
A few names stand out in the midfield of these two teams, but the key two players are the Belgians De Bruyne who has the best 1vs1 index for his team at 350 and Kroos with a 1vs1 Index of 300. The 1vs1 index ranks players based on their technique, playmaking and tactics. Every Manchester City goal seems to go through De Bruyne, whether he is scoring them himself (8), or delivering pinpoint balls to players in the box for an assist (17). Kroos has not contributed as much on the score sheet, but adds playmaking and passes into dangerous areas with 14 chances created and 84 passes into the final third of the pitch with a pass completion rate of 86.93%.
Defensively the two teams have strong players in Fernando Luiz Rosa, Rodri, Casemiro and Sergio Ramos, but Real Madrid has the best defensive with a total 991 interceptions and 43 blocks.
This game will be decided in the midfield and using the Pass Progression Value (PPV) statistics on one-versus-one. Manchester City has a value of 0.43 and Real Madrid has a value of 0.33. This statistics takes a measure of a team’s ability to pass into dangerous areas or create chances in the centre of the park.
Style of play:
Manchester City play a pressing and purposeful passing style of football, holding the halfway line and using outlets like De Bruyne to feed the box for Aguero or de Jesus to pounce on.
Real Madrid like to play from the back, keeping possession in their own half then feeding an open player for a quick up the field chance which is highlighted in their goal with the most passes.
It will be interesting to see if the recent news of Manchester City’s 2-year European competition and Sterling potentially making a move to Madrid will affect their game.
The stats don’t lie though and Manchester City seems to tick all the boxes to win this game on Wednesday night at the famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The voters on 1vs1 agree with 76% of voters saying Manchester City is the better team.