Champions League in Opta numbers: Messi, Mane eye records

The Champions League proper returns for 2019-20 on Tuesday, with Lionel Messi hoping to equal a record set by Real Madrid great Raul.

Both Lionel Messi and Sadio Mane are eyeing different Champions League records.   -  Getty Images

Lionel Messi has his sights on a record set by Real Madrid great Raul when Barcelona faces Borussia Dortmund in a Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Barca's talisman is back in the squad for the trip to Germany after missing the start of the campaign with a calf injury and, while he is unlikely to start, few would bet against him having a decisive impact if he does make an appearance.

READ: Messi looking good in training but Valverde remains wary of rushing back Barcelona star

Reigning champion Liverpool begins its title defence at Napoli in what will surely prove to be a tricky test, although Sadio Mane will be aiming to equal a record set by Didier Drogba.

There will also be Champions League bows in the dugout for Frank Lampard and Sylvinho.

Below, we examine the key data for Tuesday's encounters...

Salzburg v Genk

0 - Salzburg has not lost any of its last 18 home matches in European competition (W14 D4 – including qualifiers), with its most recent defeat at home coming in October 2016 against Nice in the Europa League.

1 - Genk forward Mbwana Samatta scored nine goals in 12 appearances in European competition last season and he also finished with 23 goals in the Belgian top flight in 2018-19. Should he play in this match, he will be the first Tanzanian player to make an appearance in the Champions League.

Liverpool won its sixth European Cup last season, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final.   -  Getty Images

 

Napoli v Liverpool

5 - Napoli has won just one of its past six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five in this run and failing to score in the most recent three. That one victory was against Liverpool last season, though.

15 - Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 Champions League appearances. Should he score in his next outing, he will equal Didier Drogba's record of needing just 25 appearances to score his first 15 goals in the competition, a record for any African player.

Inter v Slavia Prague

20 - Inter will be making its 20th appearance in the Champions League/European Cup – only Juventus (34) and AC Milan (28) have had more among Italian sides (including 2019-20).

24 - Inter forward Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 24 goals (12 goals, 12 assists) in his 52 Champions League appearances, but none of these involvements came in six games in the competition for Manchester United, the club he left on loan last month.

Lionel Messi is expected to line-up for Barcelona against Borussia Dortmund after recovering from a calf injury.   -  AFP

 

Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona

33 - Lionel Messi has scored against 32 of the 37 different opponents he has faced in the Champions League. Should he score against Dortmund, the Barcelona star will equal the competition's record for different teams scored against, set by Raul (33 clubs).

2 - Borussia Dortmund has won just two of its past eight Champions League home matches (D2 L4), losing its most recent match 1-0 against Tottenham in the last 16 in 2018-19.

Lyon v Zenit

1 - Lyon boss Sylvinho will manage in the Champions League for the first time, also becoming the first non-Frenchman to take charge of the club in Europe's elite competition. The Brazilian made 32 Champions League appearances as a player for Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Arsenal, scoring three goals.

58 - Zenit captain Branislav Ivanovic could make his first Champions League appearance since March 2016 (for Chelsea) in this match. He has made 58 appearances in the competition; only Dejan Stankovic (87) and Predrag Djordjevic (62) have made more among Serbian players.

Read: Ten players to watch out for in Champions League

Benfica v RB Leipzig

10 - Benfica is Portugal's sole representative in the 2019-20 Champions League, making it the first time in a decade that there is only one Portuguese club in the competition.

3 - Timo Werner scored three goals from just seven shots on target in the Champions League back in 2017-18, more than any other RB Leipzig player. He went on to net seven times in European competition that term, the highest total by an RB Leipzig player in a single season.

Ajax v Lille

6 - Ajax won six games in the 2018-19 Champions League, as many as it did in its previous four participations in the competition.

11 - Including qualifiers, Lille has not won any of its past 11 European matches in all competitions (D6 L5) and scored only five goals in these games.

 

Chelsea v Valencia

102 - Frank Lampard will take charge of a Champions League game for the first time in his managerial career. As a Chelsea player, he made 102 appearances in the competition and is one of only 22 players to have played 100 games or more in the tournament with the same club.

2 - Valencia has reached the Champions League in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13 (three in a row), which was also the last time it made it to the knockout stages of the competition, before being beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.

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