@StatCity: Plzen preview
- 17 September 2013 13:17
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC - Words by @StatCity
Twitter must-follows @StatCity are back to provide a numerical look-ahead to every City game this season. Here are the numbers that matter ahead of the Champions League clash in Plzen...
City’s attention turns to the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening as Manuel Pellegrini’s Blues take on Pavel Vrba’s Viktoria Plzeň in the opening fixture of this years competition.
This is the first time that City have faced Viktoria Plzeň in any competition with the side from the Gambrinus liga becoming City’s 154th different opponent since 1892. This will also be City’s 12th European campaign and the Blues have only ever lost one of their 11 opening European fixtures (W5, D5, L1). That solitary loss came at the Santiago Bernabeu last season, when the Blues were downed by two late Real Madrid goals.
City’s limited ventures into Europe are highlighted by the fact that 5 of the 10 players to have made the most appearances in European competition for the Blues are actually current City players (Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Micah Richards and David Silva). It’s worth noting that David Silva’s next European outing will see him draw level with City legend Colin Bell in the appearance charts on 24. Whilst we are comparing City’s past with the present, Sergio Aguero is currently on 7 European goals scored for the club. A brace anytime soon will see him draw level with City great Franny Lee, who netted 9 times for the Blues in European competition. Yaya Toure is the only other current City player to appear in the top 10 goalscoring charts for the club. The Ivorian has scored 5 times in Europe for the Blues.
Tuesday’s trip to Plzen will be City’s 85th European fixture. The Blues have won 42 (50.%), drawn 20 (23.81%) and have lost 22 (26.19%) of the previous 84 matches. City have scored a cool 183 goals (2.17 gpg) in European competition and have conceded just 83 (0.98 gpg). The Blues have kept 34 clean sheets (40.48%) and have been shut out on 18 occasions (21.43%).
It’s no secret that City have failed to meet expectations during their previous two Champions League campaigns. The fact that the Blues have found themselves in the ‘group of death’ in said campaigns can go someway to explain City’s shortcomings. Manuel Pellegrini is a man with huge Champions League experience and with a previous Semi-Final and Quarter-Final under his belt, the Chilean will hopefully be able to plot City’s route out of the group stages at the third time of asking.
City’s record in the Champions League stands at 3 wins (25.00%), 4 draws (33.33%) and 5 losses (41.67%) from their 12 previous encounters in Europe’s premier competition. The Blues will need to tighten up defensively if they are to build on the mere 2 Champions League clean sheets that they have kept since 2011. Equally, City have only failed to score on 2 occasions in the Champions League, albeit the two away games at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.