Mbappe, Griezmann, Firmino look to end European droughts
Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Roberto Firmino will be hoping to return to form on the big stage as the Champions League returns on Tuesday.
Tuesday sees the return of the Champions League as the first two last-16 ties get started, including arguably the pick of the bunch; Barcelona vs PSG.
While we have been robbed of the Messi - Neymar narrative after the Brazilian was ruled out for four weeks with an adductor injury last week, there should still be plenty of talent on display.
Messi can still expect to be the focus, given the strong transfer links to PSG, while the Parisians will be hoping for a hint of revenge for the famous 'Remontada' of 2016-17.
Also in action on Tuesday are Liverpool and RB Leipzig, with the Germans' home leg taking place in Budapest due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions imposed in Germany.
Ahead of the two tantalising fixtures, here are the key stats for both games…
Barcelona vs PSG
4 – Barça and PSG last met at this same stage in 2016-17, when the Catalans became the only team to ever qualify for the next round in the Champions League after losing by at least four goals in the first leg. They won the second leg 6-1 in Camp Nou.
14 – Barça are hoping to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the a record 14th consecutive campaign. They were last eliminated at this stage in 2006-07 by Liverpool.
10 – While PSG have only one away win against Spanish opposition (Valencia) in the Champions League knockout phase, Barça have never lost at home to a French side in 10 such games in this competition.
2 – Antoine Griezmann has more yellow cards (two) than he has Champions League goal involvements (one assist) for Barça at Camp Nou in seven appearances.
1 – Kylian Mbappé has scored only one goal in his nine Champions League knockout games with PSG. He had found the net six times in six knockout games with Monaco.
RB Leipzig v Liverpool
0 – RB Leipzig have played 22 matches in the Champions League – none have ended goalless.
8.9 – While Liverpool are known for their effective pressing, Leipzig are even more aggressive. The German have allowed their opponents just 8.9 passes on average before intervening defensively in the competition this season, the lowest figure of any side in 2020-21.
1 – Roberto Firmino has scored only one goal in his previous 16 Champions League games. That came in last season's last-16 second leg against Atlético Madrid.
6 – Leipzig wing-back Angelino has contributed three goals and three assists in the Champions League this term – Álvaro Morata (six goals, one assist) is the sole Spaniard with more goal involvements in 2020-21.
45 – Liverpool were the only team not to concede a single goal in the first 45 minutes of matches in the group stage.
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