Saturday, June 06, 2015

Barcelona vs. Juve: The UCL Final By the Numbers

Barcelona, as heavy favorites, face the “Old Lady” Juventus tomorrow night in the Champions League final. One of the two teams will complete the rare “triple” with the triumph, which includes their domestic league, the major league cup and the European Cup (now called the Champions League). Only seven teams have achieved this rarity previously: Celtic (1967), Ajax (1972), PSV (1988), Manchester United (1999), Barcelona (2009), Inter Milan (2010) and Bayern Munich (2013). Even what many consider the greatest club team in the history of the sport, the Barcelona team led by Pep Guardiola, were only able to accomplish it once. Two Dutch teams are on the list and obviously, it has suddenly become more common with four of the last UCL Champions completing the task. An eighth team will gain the honor Saturday night and Barcelona could become the first team to accomplish the feat twice.

Some other figures to consider …

Total Goals by Messi, Neymar & Suarez this Season: 120
     Lionel Messi: 56 Games, 58 Goals, 27 Assists
     Luis Suarez: 42 Games, 24 Goals, 21 Assists
     Neymar: 50 Games, 38 Goals, 7 Assists
TEAMS that have Scored More across Europe’s Top 5 Leagues: 3
     Real Madrid (162), Bayern Munich (123), PSG (122)
Total Goals Scored by Juve this Season: 106
Number of Games Where None of the Three Scored: 6
     Celta Vigo (2x), Valencia, Real Sociedad, Malaga, Man City

Percent of UCL Goals Scored by Barcelona Front 3: 89.2%
Percent of League Goals Scored by Barcelona Front 3: 90%
Percent of Total Goals Scored by Barcelona Forwards in 2008-09: 71%
Percent in 2009-10: 72%
Percent in 2010-11: 67%
Percent in 2011-12: 69%
Percent in 2012-13: 70%
Percent last Season: 75%

Number of League Assists by Iniesta in La Liga this Season: 1
Number of UCL Assists by Iniesta this Season: 4
Number of Goals Conceded by Juve This Season in Series A: 24 in 38 games
Number of Seasons Juve Has Won Series A in a Row: 4
Total Number of Series A Titles: 31
Number of European Cup Wins: 2 (1985, 1996)
Number of times they were Runner-up: 5 (73, 83, 97, 98, 03)

Number of Goals Conceded by Barca this Season in La Liga: 21 in 38 games
Number of Seasons Barca Has Won La Liga in a Row: 1
Total Number of La Liga Titles: 23
Number of European Cup Wins: 4 (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011)
Number of times they were Runner-up: 3 (61, 86, 94)

Number of Years Since Juve Was Last in Final: 12
Number of Games Since Juve Lost in UCL: 9
Number of Wins in a Final in a Row for Barcelona: 3
Number of Players Left From 2011 Barca Win: 8

Juve Record in this Year’s UCL: 7-3-2 (6 Clean Sheets)
Barca Record in this Year’s UCL: 10-0-2 (6 Clean Sheets)
Possession per Game in this Year’s UCL: J – 55%, B – 59%
Shots per Game in this Year’s UCL: J – 11.3, B – 9.6
Goals Scored per Game in this Year’s UCL: J – 1.33, B – 2.33
Goals Conceded per Game in this Year’s UCL: J – 0.58, B – 0.83
Number of Players Who Have Scored in Three European Cup Finals: 0
Number who can accomplish this tomorrow: 1 (Messi)

Number of People Worldwide Expected to Watch Game: ~380 Million

The numbers seem to largely predict what most people believe will happen – a win for Barcelona. However, if the score remains tied at nil-nil into the second half, the chances of Juve stealing the game 1-0 increase dramatically. And the injury to Chiellini could be a blessing in disguise, as Andrea Barzagli is arguably a better reader of the game at this point and has slightly more pace than the aging Italian international star. My prediction: 2-1 Barcelona.

No comments: