The knockout stages of the Champions League are known to provide plenty of drama and that will be required if Liverpool and Eintracht Frankfurt are to finish in the last eight.
Both Liverpool and Eintracht face tough battles to reach the quarter-finals after being comfortably beaten at home in the first legs of their respective round of 16 games.
Eintracht lost 2-0 to Napoli while Liverpool are tasked with recovering from a 5-2 first-leg deficit against Real Madrid, the team they beat in last season’s final.
Although you can never count Liverpool out of a draw, the omens are clear against both back sides completing a comeback on Wednesday.
Here, Stats Perform uses Opta numbers to preview the last two games of the last 16.
Naples vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Dominating Serie A, Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli already appear destined to win their first Scudetto since 1990.
If they quit the job at home in the second leg after the win in Frankfurt, they will write another piece of history.
If they advance, Napoli will reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time.
Hope for Eintracht comes from the 2011/12 season, when Napoli last won a knockout game in the Champions League (3-1 against Chelsea). This was followed by a 4-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge and elimination from the competition.
But Napoli are unbeaten in their last 11 Champions League home games (W8 D3) and the chances of Eintracht denying the hosts a goal appear slim.
Napoli have scored 22 Champions League goals this season – the last time an Italian side scored more in a single season (excluding goals in awarded wins, like Milan 2004/05) was in 2002/03, with Juventus scoring 30 goals scored Inter netting 26. Napoli turned Eintracht’s already difficult task into an impossible task.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool
This will be Madrid’s 300th Champions League game, at least 20 more than any side since the 1992 renaming, and Liverpool have a mountain to climb if they plan to ruin the occasion.
Liverpool, of course, have a history of notable turnarounds in this competition. The Reds are one of just four sides to advance from a Champions League game after losing the first leg by three goals or more, namely in the 2018/19 semi-final against Barcelona (0-3 a, 4-0 at home). .
But Madrid are used to doing the work at the Santiago Bernabeu. They have improved from 26 of their previous 27 knockout games in Europe or the Champions League by winning away in the first leg, with the exception of losing to Ajax at that stage in 2018/19 (1-2 a, 1-4 ag home). ).
If Liverpool are to deliver another second-leg performance to last forever, they will likely need to put the brakes on Vinicius Junior.
Vinicius has scored Champions League braces for Real Madrid against Liverpool both at Anfield and at Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid’s home while the Bernabeu was being renovated.
That game at the Bernabeu could make him the second player, after Cristiano Ronaldo against Juventus (Allianz-Stadion, Bernabeu and Fürstentum-Stadion), to score two or more goals against the same opponent in Champions League matches at three different venues.
Having lost six of their last seven Champions League games to Madrid, Liverpool also have the problem of stopping Karim Benzema, who has scored 19 goals in his last 19 knockout stage games while also is the top scorer against Liverpool in Europe and Champions League history (six).