Manchester City – Real Madrid
26th April 2022 / KO 20:00
- This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester City and Real Madrid in European competition, with each of the previous six coming in the UEFA Champions League since 2012-13. After failing to win the first four (D2 L2), the Citizens won both legs in the Round of 16 against them in this competition in 2019-20.
- Real Madrid haven’t won any of their previous three trips to face Manchester City in European competition (D2 L1), with the most recent two also coming in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League – 0-0 in the 2015-16 semi-final first leg and 1-2 in the 2019-20 Round of 16 second leg.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has eliminated Real Madrid from the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League on two previous occasions, beating them 3-1 on aggregate in the 2010-11 semi-finals with Barcelona and 4-2 on aggregate in the 2019-20 Round of 16 with Manchester City. Guardiola is looking to become the first manager to eliminate Real Madrid from the UEFA Champions League on three occasions.
- Real Madrid have only won one of their last six away games against English teams in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L3), although that victory did come against Chelsea earlier this month. No team has ever beaten two different English sides away from home in the knockout stages in a single UEFA Champions League campaign.
- Pep Guardiola (four wins) and Carlo Ancelotti (two wins) have faced each other on six previous occasions as opposing managers – all four of Guardiola’s wins came against Ancelotti’s Everton in the Premier League, while the Italian’s two victories came in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2013-14, with his Real Madrid side beating Bayern Munich 5-0 on aggregate.
- Carlo Ancelotti has won 74% of his games in charge of Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League (26/35), the best win percentage for any manager with at least 20 games for a single club in the competition.
- Raheem Sterling has netted 24 goals for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. If he scores in this game, he would overtake Paul Scholes (24) and trail only Wayne Rooney (30) for the most goals scored by an English player for an English team in the competition’s history.
- Karim Benzema has scored 12 goals in nine appearances for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season, including a hat-trick in his previous trip to England earlier in the month (v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge). Only one player has netted more away goals against English sides in a single UEFA Champions League campaign, with Serge Gnabry netting six for Bayern Munich in 2019-20 (four v Spurs, two v Chelsea).
- Only Kingsley Coman (4.1) has a higher expected assists (xA) total than Manchester City’s João Cancelo (3.6 xA) in the UEFA Champions League in 2021-22, indicating the quality of chances created by the Portuguese this season. The third-ranked player for expected assists this season, meanwhile, is Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior (3.4 xA).
- Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior has made more progressive carries of 10+ meters than any other player in the UEFA Champions League this season (62), while no player has generated more shots following a carry (moving 5+ meterswith the ball) than the Brazilian in this season’s competition (21 – 10 shots, 11 chances created).
Liverpool - Villarreal
27th April 2022 / KO 20:00
- Liverpool and Villarreal have met just twice before in European competition, with both sides winning their home leg of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals, when Liverpool would go on to progress to the final against Unai Emery’s Sevilla.
- Since a 2-1 victory in Merseyside over Everton back in August 2005, Villarreal haven’t managed to win any of their last eight away games in England in all competitions (D3 L5); already tasting defeat at Old Trafford in the group stages earlier this season.
- During his managerial career, Villarreal boss Unai Emery has faced Liverpool five times (once with Sevilla and four times with Arsenal), with those matches producing 26 goals (5.2 per game on average), and both teams netting in each. The only European meeting between man and club was the 2016 UEFA Europa League final, in which Emery’s Sevilla side beat Jürgen Klopp’s Reds 3-1.
- Liverpool have reached the semi-final of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the 12th time, with no English side playing in the final four more often (level with Manchester United). Indeed, as a club, the Reds have reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, FA Cup and European Cup in the same campaign for the very first time.
- Of the 12 sides to have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League on at least five occasions, only Benfica (7/8) and AC Milan (10/12) have a higher ratio of progressing to the final than Liverpool (82%), who have managed to reach the final on nine of their previous 11 occasions.
- This will be the fourth time out of Villarreal’s last five semi-final appearances in major European competition to see them come up against English opposition at the final four stage, with their only other encounter in this competition coming against Arsenal in 2005-06. The Spanish side were eliminated 1-0 on aggregate, with Villarreal also being the final visiting side to play a European match at the old Highbury stadium.
- Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno has registered four assists in the UEFA Champions League this term, with only three players managing more. Indeed, since 2003-04, this is the joint-most by a Spanish player in their debut campaign in the competition, along with Gabi (2013-14) and Isaac Cuenca (2011-12).
- Only in 2017-18 (10) has Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored more UEFA Champions League goals in a single campaign than the eight he’s notched this season, moving his tally for the club onto 33. The Egyptian is now just three behind both Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Sergio Agüero (Man City) for the most goals netted in the competition for an English side (36 each).
- Of the remaining players in the competition this season, only Karim Benzema (15) has registered more secondary chances created than Villarreal’s Dani Parejo (14), which is the pass played before the final pass sets up a shot or goal, highlighting a player’s influence on their team’s ability to find shooting opportunities.
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the inaugural UEFA Europa League campaign, Villareal manager Unai Emery has progressed from 84% of his UEFA Europa League/Champions League knockout ties (31/37), the second-best ratio of any manager to have taken charge of at least 10, after only Zinedine Zidane (14/16 – 88%).