The Champions League is at the quarter-final stage, and with some huge matches taking place this week, Jake Osgathorpe uses expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of every match...
"Barca’s process in the UCL is a huge concern heading into this game, as they have generated an average of 1.6 xGF while allowing 1.5 xGA pg. Of the remaining teams in the competition, only Lyon have posted worse underlying numbers than Barcelona."
PSG to prevail in thrilling encounter
Atalanta vs PSG
A cracking game is in store at Estadio da Luz, as two of Europe's most exciting attacking teams lock horns.
Atalanta made light work of Valencia in the last round of the Champions League, winning 8-4 on aggregate after two explosive and clinical displays, racking up over 4.6 xGF over the two legs.
The Italians had a brilliant Serie A campaign, finishing third in the table and only five points behind Juventus, but they sat at the summit of our xG table based on xPoints, and ranked as the best attacking team and defensive team according to expected goals.
However, somewhat concerning is their process in the Champions League, as in their eight UCL matches, Atalanta have allowed an average of 2.0 xGA pg.
PSG completed the domestic treble in recent weeks with cup victories over St Etienne and Lyon, and those games can prove to be good warm ups ahead of this, a much tougher test.
They were impressive in the way they came from behind to beat Dortmund in the last round, and on the whole have been very good in the competition from an underlying numbers perspective (2.2 xGF, 1.2 xGA pg).
While Les Parisiens are missing key players Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti, the French champions have a hugely talented squad that is more than capable of winning this game, and the competition.
Goals are likely here given the attack nature of both sides, with the model calculating a huge 86% chance of over 2.5 goals, and 78% chance of BTTS, with PSG favoured to get the win - 1-3.
Back the 1-3 @ [16.5]
RBL to take Atleti to extra time
RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid
An intriguing clash of styles in Thursday's match up, and two teams who we have question marks about heading into this mini tournament.
RB Leipzig were excellent in swatting Tottenham aside in the last round, winning 4-0 on aggregate after controlling both legs of that tie (2 Leg xG: RBL 3.2 - 1.3 TOT).
They have impressed this season both domestically and in Europe, with their process in the UCL reading 2.0 xGF and 1.1 xGA pg, though they are missing top scorer Timo Werner, and he will be a miss.
Atletico Madrid knocked out holders Liverpool in the last round, though they were fortunate to progress having lost the 2-leg xG battle heavily (LIV 4.0 - 2.0 ATM).
They rode their luck to prevail, as you have to in these cup competitions, with some vintage dogged and stubborn defensive actions across both legs, which is one of the reasons they are well-fancied underdogs in this competition.
In La Liga they ranked as the second-best team this season according to xPoints, and their underlying process domestically was the best of any Atleti team over the last five seasons. There are major positives for Diego Simeone's men.
However, Infogol sees this as a tight contest, with the draw very much in play given neither of these teams lose many matches. We do feel as though RBL are being underestimated due to the lack of Werner, and they can avoid defeat here in a low-scoring and cagey contest (52% U2.5) - 1-1.
Back the 1-1 @ [6.8]
Comfortable Bayern win
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
Friday brings us the clash of the European titans, as the only two teams left in the competition with a UCL success go head-to-head.
Barcelona got the job done last week against Napoli, winning the second leg 3-1 at Camp Nou, but they were extremely poor and underwhelming on the night, mustering only 7 shots and a non-penalty xG of just 0.31 - none of which came in the second half.
They let the La Liga title slip away, meaning this is their only chance of any silverware this season, piling the pressure on an aging squad and a coach in which the squad aren't yet convinced of.
Barca's process in the UCL is a huge concern heading into this game, as they have generated an average of 1.6 xGF while allowing 1.5 xGA pg. Of the remaining teams in the competition, only Lyon have posted worse underlying numbers than Barcelona.
Bayern Munich were dominant against Chelsea again, winning the second leg 4-1 at the Allianz to round off a 7-1 aggregate success in which they racked up 6.1 xGF over the two legs.
They seemingly picked up from where they left off at the end of the Bundesliga season, and that win over Chelsea was their 18th in succession across all competitions. Hansi Flick has rebuilt a winning machine.
Bayern are looking to complete the treble for the first time since 2013, and there are plenty of parallels that can be drawn between that side and this. Those comparisons don't stop at Bayern, as this Barcelona team has the feeling of one at the end of a cycle, just like the 2013 team that were pumped 7-0 on aggregate by Bayern.
The Bavarians have been the best team in the UCL this season based on xG process (3.3 xGF, 0.7 xGA pg), and are fancied to win this one in 90 minutes (53%), in what should be a goal-laden game (67% O2.5, 65% BTTS) - 1-3.
Back the 1-3 @ [15.5]
City to knockout giant killers
Manchester City vs Lyon
Saturday brings about the most one-sided, on paper, of the quarter finals, with many thinking the tournament favourites will beat the longshot outsiders comfortably.
Manchester City were excellent against Real Madrid at the Etihad, and I felt as though they were in cruise control for most of the game, never really looking threatened.
They dominated the La Liga champions over two legs (2-leg xG: MCI 5.1 - 2.0 RMA), and given the kind draw, are rightly favourites to win the competition according to Infogol (33%).
Pep Guardiola's side have been excellent in the UCL this season (2.8 xGF, 0.9 xGA pg), but let's not forget that they failed to beat Lyon in their two group games last season (1-2, 2-2), and the majority of that Lyon team is still there.
The French side knocked Juventus out in the last round, but were fortunate to progress having allowed 3.1 xGA on the night.
It was a back against the wall job in Turin, which could have taken a lot out of a well-rested side, though the way Rudi Garcia has got his side playing is well suited to playing against City, as they look to exploit Pep's side on the break.
However, Manchester City should prove too strong on the night, with the model calculating that they win in 90 minutes four times out of five (80%), though it is fancied Lyon get on the scoresheet (51% BTTS) in a high-scoring game (71% O2.5)- 3-1.
Back the 3-1 @ [11.5]
For more information on Infogol, visit infogol.net
Infogol's 19/20 Correct Score P+L
Atalanta vs PSG: Back the 1-3 @ [16.5]
RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid: Back the 1-1 @ [6.8]
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Back the 1-3 @ [15.5]
Manchester City vs Lyon: Back the 3-1 @ [11.5]