Champions League Preview: Valencia v Chelsea

Europe’s elite football competition is back with round two of the group stages of the Champions League.

Valencia welcome Chelsea and former hero Juan Mata to the Mestalla hoping to prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with in his absence.

And thanks to our pals at Castrol, Sport-locker.net can bring you some interesting stats ahead of the match.

 MATA COMES BACK HOME TO UPSET VALENCIA FANS

According to Castrol EDGE Performance data, Juan Mata inspired Chelsea’s opening matchday win in the 2011/12 Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen, making the most passes in the game and scoring a goal.

Just over a month after his move to Chelsea, Mata will make a homecoming when the Blues visit the Mestalla for the second game in Group E on Wednesday. The Spanish international made his Champions League debut with Valencia against his current team at Stamford Bridge in December 2007, and boasts a record of 33 goals scored in 129 league games for Valencia.

In the first game of this Champions League campaign, Mata sealed the Blues’ win with an injury time goal and was the player who attempted the most passes in the whole game (70), and created the most goal scoring chances (four).

Chelsea v Bayer Leverkusen – Champions League 2011-12

Player

Total Shots

Sturridge

5

Torres

5

Mata

4

Kießling

3

Ballack

2

Schürrle

2

Player

Chances Created

Mata

4

Malouda

3

Bosingwa

3

Sam

3

Cole

2

Torres

2

Schürrle

2

Anelka

2

Player

Passes

Mata

70

Mikel

67

Cole

64

Malouda

60

Bosingwa

59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mata displayed an all-round solid performance in an advanced midfield position, moving to both sides of the pitch and making at least 19 more touches in the opposition half than any other player in the game (67; second was Ashley Cole with 48).

 Mata’s touches vs Bayer Leverkusen – Champions League (13/09/2011)

Champions League record

Juan Mata 

Champions League

Appearances

9

Starts

6

Substitution On

3

Substitution Off

1

Minutes Played

585

Goals Scored

2

Penalties Scored

1

Left-Footed Goals

1

Right-Footed Goals

1

Headed Goals

0

Minutes per Goal

292

Shots On Target

9

Shots Off Target

5

Blocked Shots

1

Shooting Accuracy %

64.29

Shots to Goal Conversion Rate %

14.29

Assists

3

Chances Created (inc assists)

21

Total Passes Made

369

Successful Passes

321

Unsuccessful Passes

48

Pass Accuracy %

86.99

Crosses & Corners

43

Successful Crosses & Corners

10

Unsuccessful Crosses & Corners

33

Cross & Corner Accuracy %

23.26

Fouls Made

6

Fouls Won

6

Penalties Won

0

Offsides

2

Yellow Cards

1

Red Cards

0

 ‘GOAL-MACHINE’ SOLDADO MUST REPLICATE LEAGUE FORM 

 Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Roberto Soldado has found the net with more than one in four shots in La Liga since start of the 2010/11 campaign.

Amongst players who have scored 10 or more goals, only Lionel Messi has recorded a better conversion rate than Soldado in the last two La Liga seasons. The Valencia striker scored 18 goals in 34 appearances last term, and has five in the first five match-days of this campaign for Valencia, which makes him the most clinical player in the competition, behind only Messi.

Best Goals-to-shots ratio – La Liga (since 2010/11)

Player

Team

Games Played

Goals

Total Shots

Shot Conversion Rate

Messi

Barcelona

38

39

145

26.9%

Soldado

Valencia

39

23

86

26.7%

Kanouté

Sevilla

32

14

53

26.4%

Miku

Getafe

35

10

38

26.3%

Higuaín

Real Madrid

22

12

47

25.5%

Soldado failed to replicate such a killer instinct in the opposition box in the first Champions League game this season against Genk. Valencia attempted 19 shots in Belgium; only four sides fired in more on matchday one, but they couldn’t beat the opposition ‘keeper and were held to a goalless draw. Five of those shots were attempted by Soldado, who tested the Genk goalkeeper only once.

Most shots attempted on MD1 of the Champions League 2011-12

Team

Total Shots

Goals

Shots on Target

Shooting Accuracy

FC Porto

23

2

6

26.1

Lille

22

2

11

50.0

Real Madrid

22

1

11

50.0

Chelsea

20

2

12

60.0

Valencia

19

0

4

21.1

Valencia’s Attempts vs Genk (13/09/2011)

Firstly who do you think will win the contest at the Mestalla tonight? And who would you put your money on winning the competition outright? Let us know via the comments section below or via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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