Barcelona will host Czech club Viktoria Plzen in their opening fixture of the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 campaign. After a disappointing first round exit in the last campaign, Xavi’s men will look to bounce back with some better results this season.
Barcelona have made an unbeaten start to their LaLiga campaign. After playing a goalless draw in their opening match, the Catalan giants have won their last three games. They have scored 11 goals with an average xG rate of 2.78. The defence has leaked only a single goal.
Viktoria Plzen have also made an unbeaten start to the season with five wins and a draw. They qualified for the UEFA Champions League after winning three qualification rounds. Plzen scored 13 goals in six matches with an average xG rate of 1.25. Their defence only conceded four goals, and that was the biggest reason behind their qualification.
We will have a look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
Barcelona’s game style
Barcelona made a lot of changes in the first team, and the results of these changes have been positive. The players have been on the front foot and have won their last three games. Barcelona operate in a 4-3-3 formation. This is the same formation that Xavi used to play in during his illustrious career. Sergio Busquets plays a holding role and allows the other two midfielders to make forward runs. The wingers use their skills and passing abilities to create chances for Lewandowski, who operates as the lone striker. Barcelona players like to make runs into the penalty box and create chances for themselves. Viktoria Plzen will have a tough day in the office.
Viktoria Plzen’s game style
Viktoria Plzen play in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-1-4-1 formation. They also like to create most of their chances from the wings. The above viz shows the average position of Plzen’s players in their first leg match against Qarabag. The defenders maintained their defensive line and stood at the back. They were guarded by a defensive midfielder, and the full-backs played a high attacking line. One of the interesting things that can be observed is that the Plzen players played a lot closer to each other. They might do the same against Barcelona and stop their players from passing the ball into dangerous areas.
Barcelona average 34.75 positional attacks and attempts 11 shots from these attacks per match. Their shooting average is 18 shots per game with a 40.3% accuracy rate. Barcelona like to create chances from the flanks, but in the last game, they created most of the attacks from the centre. They will look for openings in the opponent’s defence.
Viktoria Plzen averaged 24 positional attacks in the qualification matches. They created most of the chances from the flanks. The shot average is a bit low at 9.17 with a 45.5% accuracy rate. Both teams have attacking strength on the flanks, with Barcelona possessing the better quality.
Xavi will rest some of the players in this game and give starts to his other players. The likes of Ferran Torres and Frenkie de Jong will be expected to start this match.
As for the visitors, Petr Pejsa will miss the match. There are no new injury concerns in Viktoria Plzen’s camp.
Barcelona will be the favourites to win this match. They have started the season well and have a chance to continue their good form going into this fixture. They can improve their goal difference in this match as this could play a crucial role in the group standings. Barcelona also have Inter Milan and Bayern Munich in their group.
Visuals via Wyscout