RB Leipzig plays against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg.
RB Leipzig finished second in their group stage, behind Real Madrid, and Manchester City finished on top in their group stage, ahead of Borussia Dortmund.
The German side is currently third in the Bundesliga and is in contention for a Champions League spot for next season. Manchester City, on the other hand, have picked up the pace and have not lost any of their last five matches in the Premier League, drawing one and winning five. They are currently second in the Premier League and are in contention for the Champions League title this season.
With the first leg poised at 1-1, it is yet another heavyweight tie in the competition, and all eyes will be on this one. Below, we compare the stats from their current European campaigns.
The viz above shows the percentile rank of both teams’ stats compared to each other as well as to other teams in the UEFA Champions League 2022–23. It can be seen that Manchester City have better stats than RB Leipzig in most of the departments. Notably, the German side has a slight upper hand in terms of key passes per 90. Alternatively, there are a couple of departments where the hosts have similar stats, such as opposition entries per 90 and opposition xG per shot. Manchester City are ahead in passing and possession as well as xG per 90, shots per 90, and crosses per 90. Additionally, both teams have almost similar goals per 90 minutes.
RB Leipzig maintains 54.85% possession and attempts 549.17 passes on average with an accuracy of 87.5%. They make 75.17 recoveries per 90 minutes. Whereas, Manchester City keeps the ball for 65.35% of the match on average, attempting 719.67 passes with an accuracy of 90.7%. Additionally, City makes 73.33 recoveries per match.
Attacking zones from the first leg
The two viz above compare both teams on the basis of their wingers’ actions in the first leg of the tie. While both teams use the flanks significantly to move the ball forward, Manchester City delivers fewer forward passes and crosses into the box from the wide positions compared to RB Leipzig.
The visitors attempted 54 passes to the final third, compared to 44 such passes by the hosts. RB Leipzig made five successful crosses out of a total of 12 attempted, whereas Manchester City delivered two out of nine crosses attempted in the match.
The Germans must be more faithful in putting more crosses and pass into the box from wide areas, as well as surprising the Manchester City defence with penetrations into the box through the likes of their wide forwards and wingbacks.
Defensive performance in the first leg
The two visuals above compare both teams based on their defensive territory on the pitch in the first leg. The Premier League side has made 22 interceptions, compared to 40 by the Bundesliga side. Manchester City have made fewer interceptions inside their box compared to RB Leipzig. Overall, Manchester City committed five fouls, compared to the 12 committed by RB Leipzig.
Additionally, it can be seen that both teams have a similar backline and have not given away any fouls in the box. The Germans committed more fouls as compared to their opponents. Manchester City must capitalise on set pieces and fouls deep in the opponent’s half.
Erling Haaland has been one of the best performers in the UEFA Champions League this season. He has scored five goals from 15 shots (4.25 xG) in four appearances, with seven shots on target (46% accuracy), making him the third-highest scorer in the competition. He has yet to provide assists but has been a key player for Manchester City. His performances have been praised, with some even calling him the best young striker in Europe. He has been a crucial part of Manchester City’s success this season, and his form looks set to continue in the coming months.
Riyad Mahrez might just be the key to Pep Guardiola’s Champions League quest with Manchester City. The player has been involved in three goals this season. He is able to read the game well and make passes and carries into the box from the flanks. He is a threat down the right, and RB Leipzig must be cautious of the player’s movements.
Pep Guardiola is set to welcome RB Leipzig with a full squad for the second leg, with all players available for selection.
As for Leipzig, Nkunku, Xaver Schlager, Peter Gulacsi, and Abdou Diallo are expected to miss out on the trip to the Etihad.
Both teams are serious contenders for the Champions League title this season, and this match could be a deciding factor in the outcome. It will be a close match, and it will come down to which team can take their chances and make the most of the opportunities it is given. It should be an exciting contest that could go either way.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine