Five Aside: Statistical preview of Champions League last 16 second leg
The second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 begins Tuesday. Here is a statistical look at the four matches this week, complete with Soccer Power Index (SPI) projections:
Real Madrid vs. Roma (Tuesday)
With a 2-0 victory away from home in the first leg, Real Madrid are an overwhelming favourite to advance to the quarterfinals, moving on 99 percent of the time, according to SPI. Roma have a 15 percent chance of scoring two or more goals, and just a three percent chance of scoring three or more, according to SPI.
Loa Blancos have conceded just 14 goals in 18 matches at home this season. Real have conceded multiple goals in a match at home three times, and the only one with more than two goals came against Barcelona. Over the past six Champions League competitions, only once have Madrid conceded more than two goals at home (last year's Round of 16 vs. Schalke).
On top of that, the odds of keeping Madrid scoreless or even to one goal are very unlikely. In those 17 home matches, the Bernabeu club have been held to one or fewer goals just five times, scoring three or more the other 13 times. SPI puts the odds of Madrid scoring multiple goals at 75 percent.
Wolfsburg vs. Gent (Tuesday)
Despite conceding two late goals in the first leg, Wolfsburg are a heavy favourite to advance to the quarterfinals, according to SPI. Wolfsburg advance 93 percent of the time on the strength of their three away goals.
The German side were able to score three times despite one of their greatest strengths letting them down in the first leg. Wolfsburg have the most completed and attempted crosses in the Bundesliga, as well as the highest completion percentage, but went just 1 for 9 in the first leg. That is tied for Wolfsburg's second-lowest completion percentage in a match this season.
For Gent, the first leg was a tale of two halves, and the Belgian side will be hoping to play like they did in the second. In the first half, Gent had two shots, neither of which were on target, and created just two chances. In the second, Gent had 10 shots, six on target, and creating seven chances leading to two goals.
Chelsea vs. PSG (Wednesday)
With a 2-1 win in the first leg, PSG have the advantage, according to SPI, advancing to the quarterfinals 71 percent of the time.
Though Chelsea were able to score at Parc de Princes, they will need more of the ball, especially in the attacking half, to overcome the first-leg deficit. The Premier League side had 35.3 percent of the possession in the first leg, their second-fewest percentage in an Prem or Champions League match this season, and 40 percent of their touches were in the defending third, the Blues' highest percentage in such a match this season. Chelsea's 88 touches in the defending penalty area were 16 more than in any other Premier League or UCL match this season.
Guus Hiddink's side will also need to do a better job of containing PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Sweden international took seven shots and created three chances in the first leg, both of which were tied for his second-most in a Ligue 1 or Champions League match this season.
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Benfica (Wednesday)
By keeping a clean sheet in the first leg and securing any potential away goals tiebreaker, Benfica are favored to advance to the quarterfinals, according to SPI, moving on 66 percent of the time.
Zenit managed five shots in the first leg, two of which were on target. Both of those are tied for the club's fourth-fewest over the past five Champions league campaigns. The Russians created just one chance in the match, their second-fewest in a Champions League match over that span.
Part of the reason was that Benfica had most of the ball in the match, with 64.1 percent of the possession, their second-highest in a UCL match in the past three seasons. The 35.9 percent for Zenit was their second-lowest over the same span.