Champions League quarter-finals: What we have learned from stats so far?

Lionel Messi is the top scorer in this season’s Champions League with eight goals, one every 60 minutes

The Champions League quarter-finals are upon us after the third highest-scoring last-16 round in history (52 goals).

Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City and Liverpool welcoming Porto to Anfield on Tuesday, with Manchester United at home to Barcelona and Ajax entertaining Juventus on Wednesday (all 20:00 BST).

BBC Sport looks at some of the key stats from the eight teams left in the tournament.

Who is looking youthful, and which team is ageing?

Surprise quarter-finalists Ajax, who stunned Real Madrid with a swashbuckling display in the last 16, have the youngest average starting line-up in the tournament – 24 years and 202 days.

That is almost two years younger than any other team.

The Dutch side’s fans may fear a summer exodus along the lines of what happened to Monaco in 2017, when they reached the semi-finals only for a team featuring the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to be swiftly dismantled. Star Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has already agreed a move to Barcelona, with others expected to follow.

They come up against the oldest team left in the tournament, Juventus – at 29 years and 79 days. That figure is perhaps unsurprising with 34-year-old stalwarts Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini both influential figures.

Who’s firing them in? Who isn’t?

The top goalscorers in this season’s tournament are Manchester City – and their 26 is seven more than any other team have scored. City have attempted the second highest number of shots (147), behind Barcelona, who have scored 19 of their 161 efforts. The same two teams lead the way in shots on target too.

The lowest goalscorers are Manchester United, who have only scored 10 in eight games. Beyond that, they are the only side left in the tournament to try fewer than 100 shots, and of that 97 only 28 have been on target, compared with City’s 59.

And look away now if you do not like new football terminology. Opta’s expected goals (xG) stats back up the above figures. United have actually done slightly better than they should have with their chances, with an xG figure of 9.66. City’s is 19.41.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the top scorer left in the Champions League, on eight – alongside Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, whose side are out. Ajax’s Dusan Tadic and Porto’s Moussa Marega are next on six.

It is seven years since anybody other than Cristiano Ronaldo finished as the outright Champions League top scorer. The Juventus forward is on four after his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid.

Who is sharing their goals out?

Manchester United have used more players than anyone else in the tournament so far – 26. Youngsters Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood both made their tournament debuts as substitutes in their famous comeback win over Paris St-Germain.

Ajax, at the other end of the scale, have used only 19 players – excluding qualifiers. Even if you include their six qualifying games, that figure only rises by one.

Ten Porto players have shared their 19 goals, the only team to have so many different goalscorers. Juventus are at the other end of the list with four scorers (12 goals in total) – Paulo Dybala, Ronaldo, Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic.

Who is most likely to keep a clean sheet?

Juventus and Barcelona have conceded only six goals each so far – the fewest of the teams left, with Juve keeping clean sheets in five of their eight games. They have lost all three matches when they have conceded.

Tottenham have let in the most goals – with half of those 10 in their two games against Barca. Manchester United keeper David de Gea has impressed, only letting in seven of the 11.25 expected goals the Old Trafford side ‘should’ have conceded.

Who is most likely to lose their heads?

Max Wober was sent off for Ajax in December’s group game against Bayern Munich

Ajax have had 19 players booked, more than any other team in the quarter-finals, and one red card. Only Porto and Liverpool have not had anybody sent off.

Porto have committed the most fouls overall (124), with Barcelona giving away the least (82).

Which players have covered the most ground?

Two of the three players to have covered the most distance this season are Porto players. Midfielder Hector Herrera has travelled just over 94km (58.4 miles) on the pitch during the Champions League this season – with Porto team-mate Danilo, a full-back, third and Ajax forward Tadic second.

Liverpool have two of the next three – forward Sadio Mane and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Who is the most prolific passer?

The player with the most passes completed left in this season’s Champions League may surprise you. It’s Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, with 618 of his 664 attempted passes finding a team-mate – that’s 93%. Only midfielder Toni Kroos, of eliminated Real Madrid, completed more.

Is it a different scenario if we just look at pass-completion ratio (of players to attempt over 100 passes)? Yes, but it is still a City centre-back – John Stones has completed 98% of his passes (380 from 389).

But the best passer in this season’s tournament in terms of pass completion? Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay. The Scot nailed all 26 passes he has played, the most of anyone with a 100% record.

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