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Ronaldo eyes end to European drought – Champions League in Opta numbers

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 20 Feb 2019

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The Champions League last 16 first legs conclude on Wednesday, with Atletico Madrid hosting Juventus and Manchester City travelling to Schalke.

Juve will be looking to Cristiano Ronaldo to find his European scoring boots as they bid to end Atletico Madrid’s run of 12 Champions League knockout games at home without defeat.

Manchester City, meanwhile, are overwhelming favourites to see off Schalke and progress to the quarter-finals, but they will have to overcome a stubborn backline, which conceded just four goals in the group stages.

Here is the pick of the stats surrounding these two games, as provided by Opta…

Atletico Madrid v Juventus

1 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored only one goal in his last eight Champions League games. He had found the net 11 times in his eight previous games.

6 – Antoine Griezmann has scored or assisted a goal in each of his six Champions League games at the Wanda Metropolitano (six goals, three assists). This season, he has been directly involved in six of Atletico Madrid’s nine Champions League goals (67 per cent), with four goals and two assists – that is the highest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition.

9 – Massimiliano Allegri has reached the knockout stages in each of his nine campaigns as manager in the Champions League. He was a beaten finalist in two of the last four seasons with Juventus.

6 – Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in the Champions League against Italian opposition under manager Diego Simeone (won four, drawn two). In those six games, they have only conceded one goal, by Kaka in a 4-1 win against AC Milan in March 2014.

6 – Paulo Dybala has scored six goals in his last seven Champions League appearances – more than in his previous 24 appearances in the competition with Juventus (five goals). All 11 of his goals in the competition have come with his left foot.

Schalke v Manchester City

9 – Schalke are unbeaten in their last nine European home games (won six, drawn three) – they last went longer without a home defeat between July 2003 and November 2004 (11 games).

4 – No player delivered more assists than Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez in the Champions League group stages this season (four, level with Kylian Mbappe and Memphis Depay).

6 – Schalke scored six goals in this season’s group stages, the lowest tally amongst the 16 clubs left in the competition. However, only Borussia Dortmund (five) kept more clean sheets than Schalke (four).

2 – Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League on two occasions as a manager (2009 and 2011, both with Barcelona); a third trophy would equal Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley’s record. He has also reached the semi-finals in seven of his nine previous seasons as manager but has not made the final since 2011.

3 – Schalke have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of their last three Champions League appearances – 2010/11 was the last time they made it past that stage, reaching the semi-finals.

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