Barcelona v. Arsenal stats preview: by the numbers


17 – Goals Barcelona have scored in Champions League play this season
12 – Goals Arsenal have scored in Champions League play this season
11 – Goals Barcelona have scored at Estadio Camp Nou in Champions League play this season
5 – Goals Arsenal have scored in away games in Champions League play this season
4 – Goals Luis Suarez has scored at Camp Nou in Champions League play this season (leads FCB)
4 – Goals Olivier Giroud has scored in away games in Champions League play this season (leads AFC)
5 – Goals scored by Olivier Giroud, Lionel Messi, or Luis Suarez in all Champions League play (they all have 5 each)
4 – Assists by Alexis Sanchez in Champions League play (tied with CRon for best in the CL)
Ö – Assists by 0zil in Champions League play this season
6 – Shots per game by Messi
2.7 – Shots per game by Giroud
2.8 – Tackles per game by Gibbs in Champions League play (leads Arsenal)
2.2 – Tackles per game by Bellerin in Champions League play (2nd on Arsenal, tied with Alexis Sanchez, showing that teams tend to dribble at Arsenal’s fullbacks (Debuchy had 2.3 when he played for us) rather than through the middle where…)
1.8 – Tackles per game by Francis Coquelin in Champions League play
2.4 – Tackles per game by Rakitic (leads Barcelona if we remove Sergi Samper’s tiny sample)
2.3 – Tackles per game by Busquets (2md on Barcelona)
3 – Interceptions per game by Busquets (Leads Barcelona)
4 – Interceptions by Gabriel per game, Champions League, etc. (leads Arsenal.. but)
2.6 – Interceptions by Monreal (this is a weird fact: Champions League teams tend to attack Arsenal down the flanks and try to cross the ball, Bayern Munich did it relentlessly in Arsenal’s win, and Barcelona did as well in their 2-0 win. Watch the dribbles and crosses areas in this game, the majority will go at Arsenal’s left back. I suspect there is a perceived weakness there but can’t tell whether the weakness is supposed to be Arsenal defending crosses or Arsenal defending dribbles.)
6.3 – Dribbles per game by Alexis Sanchez in Champions league play (2nd best in all the Champions League) and he’s still making 6 dribbles a game in away matches
5.5 – Dribbles per game by Lionel Messi in Champions League play
4.5 – Dribbles per game by Neymar, yadda yadda Champions League
3.8 – Number of times Alexis is Dispossessed per game in Champions League
3.5 – Number of times Messi is Dispossessed per game in Champions League
2.2 – Key passes per game by Alexis in Champions League (leads Arsenal, 0zil only makes 1.9)
0.7 – Through balls per game by Alexis in Champions League (leads Arsenal, 0zil has Ö)
3.8 – Key passes per game by Neymar in Champions League (leads Barcelona)
0.8 – Through balls per game by Neymar in Champions League (leads Barcelona)
0.9 – Through balls per game by di Maria in Champions League play (leads all players) and the top players in this category are him, Neymar, Alcántara, Alexis, Joel Campbell (!!), and that guy who plays for Chelsea. Pretty great company for JC!

(This next section is all FC Barcelona stats at HOME in Champions League play and Arsenal FC stats AWAY in Champions League play — just saying that now so I don’t have to repeat myself 20 times below, so I don’t have to repeat myself 20 times below.)

67 – Percent of possession controlled by Barcelona (1st in Champions League, at home, please don’t make me repeat it)
48 – Percent of possession controlled by Arsenal (15th worst)
10 – Shots per game by Arsenal (11th worst of 32 teams)
4 – Shots on goal per game by Arsenal (17th of 32 teams)
16 – Shots allowed per game by Arsenal (14th worst of 32 teams)
20 – Shots per game by Barcelona (7th best)
9 – Shots on goal per game by Barcelona**
7 – Shots allowed per game by Barcelona (4th best)
6 – Shots allowed per game at home by Man U, who failed to qualify out of the easiest Champions League group that the competition has ever seen (1st best!)
17 – Tackles per game by Arsenal (7th worst)
19 – Tackles per game by Barcelona (15th)
13 – Dribbles per game by Barcelona (6th)
11 – Dribbles per game by Arsenal (9th)
19 – Dribbles per game by Arsenal at home! 2nd best to FC Porto and their wacky, dribble-happy team that dribbled 24 times a game, with their midfielder/forward Yacine Brahimi making SEVEN dribbles a game
10 – Fouls per game by Barcelona (7th fewest)
12 – Fouls per game by Arsenal (17th)

*Sergi Samper’s tiny sample is my new favorite tongue twister
**In home games the best shots on goal teams are (in order): Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Atletico, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Arsenal with 7.3! Borussia M. are particularly odd, in home games they get 8 shots on goal per contest and in away games 1.7. That’s going from 6th best to 29th! WTF?


Sources: (e.g. Opta)


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Arsene-al fan

5 – per cent chance we will win. And that’s being optimistic.


I’d say 0% chance since this match is now essentially a friendly.


No way. We’ll smash ’em 3-0 and then go on a run and win the prem. You gotta have faith as George Michael once told me.


Let us not hope for water on a rock and yet we don’t have Moses with the Holly staff


And ye, the multitudes did gather, and Jesus said unto them, “No chance Gooners, I’m afraid. I’m a miracle worker by trade, but this is a lost sheep”

Hoosier Gunner

If you believe the word on the street, Jesus probably said unto them, “Venga out”. Is there anything else being talked about now? Ugh.


Victor Moses with a flamethrower is not helping this squad.


95 – the chance percentage that no matter how well Joel Campbell plays, at the 60th minute, Wenger will sub him for Walcott.

chechen gooner

or to put it more correctly, wenger will force the players to play with 10 men thereby running them into the ground.



Is it still gallows humor if your head is in a noose?


Yes it is.


I was imagining this team somehow finding its verve tomorrow evening and just for a second it made me excited, but the current reality of Arsenal FC means I am simply being delusional …… BUT…..

just imagine it though..



90% – Chance of getting our pants pulled down tomorrow.
10% – Chance of winning 2-1, chasing third goal to go through but experiencing another glorious failure.

A git

Walcott passing it to the linesman.


You can sing “Sergi Samper’s tiny sample” over the first five words of Elton John’s, “Tiny Dancer”

Just sayin!


Count the tackles at the Camp Noouuu

Petits Handbag

People keep saying we’ll win this 2-1 or 3-2 or whatever. We won’t. We’re the same as the last few years but i honestly believe this ones lost the heart.

David C

I’d rather watch the game optimistically and hope for a result. Even if we don’t progress, this team needs a good game for some of that magical confidence to start flowing again.

Very strange that Ozil has no Cl assists this year! Thanks for the stats.

someone's something

No hate but lets drop Giroud for Welbeck and go with high press. Last time they managed to nullify Giroud target ability through the diving acts of Busquets and Alba. And whenever Giroud won and the ref didn’t fall for their blatant diving Pique or Mascherano always managed to read where the pass was going.

Welbeck’s trickery and pace allows him to not only challenge them in one-vs-one but also to lead the pressing in a better way then Giroud.

someone's something

0 – the chances of Wenger reading this, thus rendering my brilliant tactical analysis pointless.


0 – even if he does read this, chances of Wenger taking any note of your valid observation. He knows best, and there’s nothing more that anyone can say to convince him otherwise.

drogheda gunner

Enjoy and hope for the best


It’s all going to be fine. *builds fortress of wine bottles and chocolate bars behind sofa*


So Giroud’s shot conversion rate is much better than Messi’s?


I find this applicable as long as you forget what happens afterward.

Gudang Pelor

From the title, I though Tim was doing a pre-emotive by the number, since this match will be a predictable one. Just like Blog did ‘player says sorry’ in the wake of watford game.

He's the soup

Here’s the plan. Go in at half-time nil-nil. Score a goal early in the second half. Then tighten defense further. Only go for the second goal when there’s 10 minutes left. Now we go into extra-time “all square”. It’s okay to risk a goal against us because we can go through if we get one as well. But if there are no more goals then it’s into penalties. I’d be more than happy with a penalty shootout. So let’s not go crazy looking for early goals and a 3-0 win. Although it’s still a tall order, a 2-0 win doesn’t… Read more »