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Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea? The Opta numbers behind Ajax star and reported Blues target

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Chelsea appear destined to sign Hakim Ziyech and we have taken a closer look at the Ajax’s star’s numbers.

Hakim Ziyech will need little introduction to Chelsea fans if the Morocco international does complete his move to Stamford Bridge from Ajax.

Ziyech was one of the best players on the pitch during a barnstorming 4-4 draw in November’s Champions League clash.

Kepa Arrizabalaga may have been credited with an own goal but it was Ziyech’s sensational bending free-kick from the right touchline that did the damage as the visitors opened up a 3-1 half-time lead.

Next season, the 26-year-old appears destined to play much more regularly at the Bridge, with reports claiming the Blues have agreed a £38million deal for the attacking midfielder.

Predominantly employed on the right, Ziyech can also play as a number 10 and here we have used Opta data to take a closer look at an exciting talent.

 

THE EREDIVISIE’S MASTER CREATOR

Ziyech has been one of the Eredivisie’s top performers since breaking into the first team at Heerenveen in 2012 having risen through the club’s youth teams.

After a two-year stop at Twente, Ziyech moved to Ajax in August 2016 where his performances domestically and in Europe have seen his star continue to rise.

READ   Neymar ‘happy’ at Paris Saint-Germain and targets big impact in Champions League knockout stage

Since his switch to the Johan Cruijff ArenA, only four players can boast a higher goals return than his 38 while his sensational tally of 51 Eredivisie assists is 16 better than the 35 of Steven Berghuis, the next highest on the list.

Indeed, his combined 89 goal involvements is in the best in the league during this time, seven more than Berghuis, while Bryan Linssen (who has the most goals with 52) is way behind with 66.

To really emphasise Ziyech’s attacking brilliance, his 421 chances created since September 2016 is a whopping 134 more than second-place Berghuis.

MIXING IT WITH MESSI AND MBAPPE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Ajax were the great entertainers of the of the 2018-19 Champions League and only a last-gasp goal from Tottenham’s Lucas Moura denied Erik ten Hag’s men a place in the final.

Ziyech was typically influential in that run to the last four and since August 2018 he has provided seven assists in Europe’s premier competition.

That is as many as team-mate Dusan Tadic and just one fewer than the best of eight achieved by Kylian Mbappe and Riyad Mahrez – and one more than Barcelona great Lionel Messi.

His five goals are 13 fewer than the sensational 18 scored by Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in the same time, with Messi registering 14.

READ   Napoli 1-1 Salzburg: Carlo Ancelotti’s side miss chance to secure early qualification

Messi tops the list of goal involvements at 20, with Lewandowski (18), Mbappe (17), Raheem Sterling (14), Tadic and Mohamed Salah (both 13) above Ziyech’s combined goals and assists tally of 12.

In terms of chances created, Ziyech scores highly as well. His 39 is the same as Christian Eriksen and beaten only by Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (51), Tadic (47) and Messi (41).

 

THE STATS

– Since the 2012-13 season, Ziyech has made 217 Eredivisie appearances, scored 79 goals and contributed 87 assists.

– Ziyech has at least 10 assists in each of his previous six Eredivisie seasons, no player has managed to do so in more than two campaigns in the same period.

– No players has more assists (51), shots (528), created chances (421), completed dribbles (288) or recoveries (752) than Ziyech in the Eredivisie since he joined Ajax.

– Over the past two seasons, only Mohamed Salah (79) and Messi (77) have taken more Champions League shots than Ziyech (75 same as Cristiano Ronaldo).

 

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Champions league

Juventus: Maurizio Sarri sacked after Champions league failure

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Maurizio Sarri

Italian manager Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his duty as the head of the technical bench of Juventus following the club’s early elimination from the UEFA Champions league. This is according to the club.

The Old Ladies were knocked out by Olympic Lyonnais at the round of 16 despite a 2-1 win on Friday August 7, 2020 that appeared insufficient for the night as the visitors sailed through on away goal formalities following a 1 nil victory in February.

Sarri’s dismissal hasn’t come as a surprise to many. With the simple reason. The match outcome against Lyon came as a huge sign of failure for the club whose main target this season was winning the Champions League, a fit they are still to achieve since 1996 when they last grabbed silver ware in the competition. Reasons amongst other that saw the club bringing in 5 times Balloon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to help facilitate the task.

READ   Neymar ‘happy’ at Paris Saint-Germain and targets big impact in Champions League knockout stage

Maurizio Sarri therefore served as the main victim and sacrifice despite helping the club win its 9th consecutive Series A title a few weeks ago.

Sarri who has also managed Chelsea and Napoli had earlier explained his difficulty of having the players adapt to his system which he considers to be “Slow” especially after losing to Lyon in France.

The club have recorded series of unconvincing scores after the Coronavirus restart. They have gathered 7 wins in their last 15 matches. Managing to win the league with a point above runners-up, Inter Milan

A few names have come up as potential replacement. Amongst them, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino who is still to join a club since his dismissal by the Spurs in 2019 and Zinedine Zidane.

DEWAH Fabrice TEH

 

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Toko Ekambi: Indomitable lion and Lyon knocks out Ronaldo’s Juventus from UCL

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Cameroonian forward Karl Toko Ekambi and French outfit Olympique Lyonnais have qualified for the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League after knocking out Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus on away goal basis.

Meeting at the Allianz Stadium on Friday August 7, 2020, Toko Ekambi and teammates put up resilient performances against the Old Ladies. Leading the attack alongside Memphis Depay, the 27 year old showed determination and remained a threat to Maurizio Sarri and boys who appeared vulnerable to the self-confidence put forward by the visitors.

At the 14th minute, the team’s efforts paid off. Rudi Garcia’s boys won a penalty following foul on the team’s midfielder and subsequent man of the match, 22 year old Houssem Aouar brought down by Rodrigo Bentancur. A penalty transformed with a panaka chip-in by Memphis Depay to put the visitors a goal up on the night and 2 goals up on aggregate.

With the Old Ladies in need of 3 goals to turn-around the situation, efforts by Portuguese football magician, Cristiano Ronaldo proved insufficient as his two goals scored at the 45th minute from the penalty spot and a 60th minute rocket strike failed to hit needed the mark.

READ   Mourinho yet to explain Champions League squad omission to Wanyama

The 2-1 defeat to Juventus saw Ekambi and Lyon go through to the quarter finals on away goal basis following a 1 nil win against the Italian Series A champions in February.

It was Lyon’s first quarter final qualification since the 2009/2010 season where their fairy tale run saw them reaching the semifinal of the competition after knocking out Real Madrid and Bordeaux at the round of 16 and quarter finals respectively before being eliminated by German outfit Bayern Munchen at the semis.

Ironically, it is the first time Cristiano Ronaldo will be missing the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League since the 2009/2010 season and Juventus debut absence from the last 8 since the 2015/2016 season under manager Massimiliano Allegri

The team will clash with Manchester City at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Tuesday August 15, 2020 at the quarter finals in Lisbon, Portugal. Manchester City knocked out Real Madrid to reach the final 8.

READ   PSG v Dortmund: Unwell Kylian Mbappe only on the bench

DEWAH Fabrice TEH

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Supercomputer Predicts The Champions League Winner For 2019-20 Season

Liverpool will fall short of successfully defending their Champions League crown, according to a supercomputer simulation.But Jurgen Klopp’s men, who have been in the final of the Champions League for the last two seasons, failed to retain the title in the supercomputer’s predictions.

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Supercomputer Predicts The Champions League Winner For 2019-20 Season

 

BT Sport’s The Script predicted if Jurgen Klopp would lead Liverpool to their second consecutive Champions League trophy,Liverpool will fall short of successfully defending their Champions League crown, according to a supercomputer simulation.

But Jurgen Klopp’s men, who have been in the final of the Champions League for the last two seasons, failed to retain the title in the supercomputer’s predictions. Ahead of the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday, BT Sport’s The Script has been used to simulate the winner of Europe’s top-tier club competition. Premier League trio Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all reached the knockout stage of the competition. But Spurs, who were last season’s runners-up, failed to make the round of 16. And Chelsea come up against Los Blancos in the quarter-finals and are subsequently knocked out of the competition. Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Champions League end in the quarter-finals against Barcelona. But Barca have the last laugh this time around as they beat Liverpool to set up El Clasico for the Champions League semi-finals.

READ   Valencia 2-2 Chelsea: Daniel Wass’ late fluke equaliser denies Blues in thriller

Madrid beat Barcelona in the semi-finals and progress to the final to meet Bayern Munich, who knocked out Juventus. Zinedine Zidane’s men walk away triumphant with another Champions League crown after defeating the German champions 3-2 in the final. Atletico Madrid, who reinforced heavily this summer, were knocked at the hands of Bayern Munich in the round of 16.And Paris Saint-Germain reached the quarter-finals, only to narrowly lose 3-2 on an aggregate scoreline to the Bavarians.

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