Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Son set to strike as Ajax aim for upset – Champions League in Opta numbers

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 5 Mar 2019

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Son Heung-min will be a marked man against Borussia Dortmund as Tottenham seek to finish the job they started when they prevailed 3-0 at Wembley in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

Son has an excellent scoring record against Dortmund and if he can find the net at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday there will surely be no way back for the hosts.

Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio helped Real Madrid put one foot in the last eight when they beat Ajax in Amsterdam and the odds are stacked against the visitors in the return leg.

No team has ever progressed in a Champions League knockout tie after losing the first leg at home 2-1, but Erik ten Hag’s men will be well aware of the unrest at the Santiago Bernabeu after Los Blancos suffered back-to-back home defeats to fierce rivals Barcelona.

Here’s how the key Opta numbers stack up ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League games.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham

7 – There have been seven 3-0 home victories in first-leg matches of Champions League knockout ties and all of those sides progressed to the next round, making Dortmund’s task look all the more daunting.

10 – Dortmund’s pedigree at this stage of the competition has taken a hammering in recent seasons, with the club losing 10 of their last 13 Champions League knockout matches (W3), compared to their record of one defeat in their previous 14 (W9 D4).

9 – Tottenham forward Son will relish the opportunity to take on Dortmund, against whom he has scored nine times in 11 games across all competitions – more than against any other club in his career.

17 – An away goal will surely end Dortmund’s hopes of a comeback and Spurs will fancy their chances of scoring, having netted in each of their last 17 games in the competition.

4 – Dortmund’s secret weapon could be Raphael Guerreiro, who has scored four of their last five Champions League goals.

Real Madrid v Ajax

8 – Madrid are aiming to extend their own record of reaching eight consecutive Champions League semi-finals but must first finish the job against Ajax to reach this season’s quarters.

22 – Ajax have to go all the way back to 1996-97 to remember the last time they progressed through a Champions League knockout tie, when they beat Atletico Madrid before a semi-final defeat against Juventus.

2 – There is hope yet for Ajax, who travel to the Bernabeu knowing that Madrid have lost two of their last five Champions League home games (W2 D1) – as many as in their previous 48 combined (W40 D6 L2).

7 – However, recent history is on the side of Madrid, who have won each of their last seven games against Ajax across all competitions.

8 – Ajax will have to keep a close eye on Benzema, who has four goals and as many assists in his six Champions League outings against the Eredivisie giants.

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