There’s still all to play for going into this second-leg Champions League last-16 tie with the score at 0-0. Both Bayern and Liverpool will have to put their respective title pushes out of their minds with a quarter-final place awaiting the victors at the Allianz Arena.
The near-namesakes Roberto Firmino and Robert Lewandowski will both be hoping to score the winning goal to take their team through to the next round. Neither player has ever won the competition, though both have been losing finalists: Firmino played in Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in 2018, and Lewandowski lost against current team Bayern when representing Dortmund in 2013.
Comparing their statistics
As can be seen in the stats comparison below from whoscored.com, Lewandowski leads the way when it comes to goals, netting 17 to Firmino’s 11 this season. This makes sense considering that the Polish striker has been taking more shots per game than the Liverpool player. In fact he has taken twice as many, averaging four shots per game compared to the Brazilian’s 2.1.
As the focal point of the Bayern attack you would expect Lewandowski to prioritise putting the ball in the net at the expense of making goals for his teammates, but the stats say otherwise. The former Dortmund forward has chipped in with seven assists this season.
Firmino on the other hand must be disappointed with his tally of only four assists. It’s all the more surprising given his role of helping to supply the prolific Mohamed Salah and hardly goal-shy Sadio Mane. The Liverpool number nine also lags behind on key passes, managing 1.1 whilst his Champions League opponent comes in at 1.5.
They both average exactly the same number of dribbles per game (1.5) but the numbers suggest that Firmino might have the better first touch, averaging only 2.3 bad touches per game compared to Lewandowski’s three.
When it comes to offsides, Lewandowski racks up 0.8 per game, a much higher average than Firmino’s 0.1. What this tells us is that Lewandowski is a striker who leads the line, looking to get on the end of through-balls for him to run onto. For Liverpool, however, it’s the likes of Egyptian Salah and the speedy Mane who try to beat the offside trap with well-timed runs in behind. Firmino in contrast tends to drop into deeper positions between the lines.
Both players will cause problems for whoever is defending against them on the night but the stats show that Robert Lewandowski is perhaps the better all-round striker. The Polish international beats his Brazilian counterpart not just in goals but in assists as well.
With Thomas Muller suspended for the return leg, Bayern will certainly be pinning their hopes on the Pole being the man to ruthlessly take any chances that may come his way. In the Liverpool camp Virgil van Dijk and co will certainly have their work cut out in trying to keep the 30-year-old quiet as they look to progress to the Champions League quarter finals.
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