FC Barcelona vs AFC Ajax: Lineups and Stats

FC Barcelona

PlayerGoalimpactAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Victor Valdes184.431.6Spanien49145702
Dani Alves181.430.3Brasilien50643114
Cesc Fabregas177.626.3Spanien45134288
Javier Mascherano167.929.2Argentinien41635408
Alexis Sanchez135.424.7Chile29119533
Lionel Messi190.826.2Argentinien42234373
Martin Montoya132.822.4Spanien [U21]1109259
Bartra126.622.6Spanien [U21]968182
Alex Song140.126.0Kamerun30924714
Cristian Tello129.522.1Spanien [U21]1115465

AFC Ajax

PlayerGoalimpactAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Kenneth Vermeer127.727.6Niederlande15113881
Ricardo van Rhijn132.422.2Niederlande [U21]726093
Niklas Moisander131.127.9Finnland20919007
Nicolai Boilesen114.621.5Dänemark201374
Daley Blind135.523.5Niederlande [U21]1239976
Stefano Denswil110.120.3161377
Christian Poulsen131.933.5Dänemark45135601
Lerin Duarte93.723.1Niederlande [U21]836144
Siem de Jong146.424.6Niederlande19615709
Kolbeinn SigIorsson113.923.5Island925637
Jasper Cillessen108.024.4514395
Mike van der Hoorn101.820.9Niederlande [U21]524234
Lasse Schöne106.227.3Dänemark20616963
Thulani Serero109.823.4Südafrika301380
Viktor Fischer126.019.2Dänemark [U21]574265
Tobias Sana103.824.1Schweden835005
Danny Hoesen103.522.6Niederlande [U21]754741

Prediction for the Champions League

The waiting has finally come to an end and the new Champions League season will start this week. Time to dare a prediction for the group phase. Because of the limited number of international games, this is particularly difficult to predict. Let's see how Goalimpact will fare this year.

Group A

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Manchester United 140,0 95,3 170,0
Shakhtar Donetsk 125,7 89,8 155,3
Bayer Leverkusen 116,4 93,5 132,5
Real Sociedad 106,3 94,3 121,8

I see ManU and Shakhtar as favorites with Leverkusen having some chances on rank 2. Given the odds on the betting markets, this seems uncontroversial although the distance of Sociedad is smaller there.

Group B

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Real Madrid 149,8 113,7 197,0
Juventus 126,9 92,6 153,3
Galatasaray 120,5 90,3 158,1
FC Köbenhavn 111,2 88,1 128,8

Again the order is in line with the betting markets. However, according to Goalimpact, Galatasaray's chances to advance instead of Juventus are much bigger than what is implied in the odds.

Group C

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Paris Saint-Germain 129,6 99,5 170,9
RSC Anderlecht 123,9 82,5 145,9
SL Benfica 122,1 97,3 142,9
Olympiakos Piräus 108,9 89,9 138,0

PSG is uncontroversial the top favorite in this group. Goalimpact picked RSC as second, which is heavily disputed by the betting pundits which rank SL Benfica much higher. They even see Anderlecht worse than Olympiakos. Update: After the transfer window closed, RSC Anderlecht dropped to 117, now well behind Benfica.

Group D

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Bayern München 150,9 97,5 187,8
Manchester City 132,3 104,7 158,0
Viktoria Plzen 122,6 89,6 131,2
CSKA Moskva 119,2 94,9 136,4

The top two are very uncontroversial. Plzen and Moskva have the opposite order on the betting markets.

Group E

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Chelsea FC 133,0 103,0 178,9
FC Schalke 04 120,8 99,7 144,3
FC Basel 116,7 93,3 131,2
Steaua Bucuresti 108,0 87,5 118,4

Same order on the betting markets. Finally, again. Schalke expected to advance, but Basel may turn out to be a stumbling block.

Group F

Team Goalimpact Min Max
Borussia Dortmund 131,3 104,1 151,6
Arsenal FC 127,1 106,4 150,6
SSC Napoli 120,9 93,6 154,7
Olympique Marseille 106,6 90,0 124,4

Again same order and about the same implied distances, too. Arsenal and Dortmund will fight for the first group place and Napoli may be a bad surprise for the other one of them. The Özil transfer is not yet reflected in Arsenal's Goalimpact. It is likely to raise it two or three points, bringing it closer to Dortmund. Update: In September the GI of Dortmund dropped significantly due to injuries. Arsenal that gained a bit because of Özil now on top spot.

Group G

Team Goalimpact Min Max
FC Porto 128,2 91,3 158,3
Zenit St. Petersburg 122,8 93,8 139,8
Atletico Madrid 122,7 93,5 151,9
Austria Wien 117,9 104,2 131,9

Both according to the betting markets and Goalimpact the most uncertain outcome will be in this group. All teams are about as good as the others with Porto sticking a bit on the upper side and Austria on the lower side. The betting markets make a firmer statement here, putting Porto and Atletico on 1 and 2, Zenit with good chances to take the place of one of them. Austria, on the other hand, is seen only with low chances to advance. According to Goalimpact, the chances are low, but not that marginal. Update: After the transfer window closed, Ateltico gained one point and is now in front of Zenit.

Group H

Team Goalimpact Min Max
FC Barcelona 158,5 107,7 190,8
AFC Ajax 130,4 101,3 146,5
AC Milan 118,8 95,2 145,9
Celtic FC 117,9 85,2 139,7

I like that prediction, because it again contradicts the betting markets. Ajax has, according to Goalimpact, good chances to advance, while they are only remote if you believe in the rational of the bettors. Update: Redoing the analysis after the transfer window closed, let Ajax drop to 119, only narrowly in front of AC Milan.

How to replace Mario Götze

At the end of this season Mario Götze, Germany's super talent, will move from Borussia Dortmund to its arch rival Bayern München. A player if this talent is impossible to substitute. Or is it? Various names are rumoured to be on Borussia Dortmunds shopping list. The following chart compares the players I found in internet as alleged candidates.

Non of the candidates is really of Mario's talent, though Ajax Amsterdam's Christian Eriksen is close. Jackson Martinez is also excellent, but doesn't seem to fit as good in Dortmund's strategy to develop young talents.

Chealsea's talent Kevin de Bruyne had a promising start but failed to develop good in the recent years. Probably he also regrets his move to Werder Bremen. Son, playing for Hamburger SV, didn't have a convincing Goalimpact so far despite good critics. He certainly has talent, but it would be a bet if he really can do use of it better than in the past. Bernand is supposed to be a Brazilian supertalent. He currently plays at Atletico Mineiro. There are not too many observations of him in my database, but he managed to be above his team average already. A risky choice, but it may work out very good.

Bottom line: Eriksen seems to be the best option.

If you see other rumors, please leave me a link in the comments and I can add further players.


Here are some more rumored players as hinted in the comments.

Kevin Prince Boateng is a great player, but seems to be less effective in the last year. Certainly a good option. Antonio Candreva started late in his career to produce significant Goalimpact. The raise at the age of 25 concides with his move from Cesena to Lazio. I think it is a difficult choice. Klopp would need to be very sure that he can use him more efficient as he is not very young anymore and not easy to shape. For Goretzka and Vietto there is too little data available. No Götze dimension of talent, but Goalimpact doesn't show a red flag either. Isco looks similar promising.

Kevin Volland had too little Goalimpact so far to be recommended. Dortmund would need to invest in his talents first until he will be effective. Christian Benteke showed his talents more than once in his career, but experienced ups and downs already in his young career. Maybe he suffered from frequent team changes. Thiago is excellent. According to Goalimpact certainly a player that can turn out as valuable as Götze. Dzeko is different he started getting high ratings in his second year at Manchester and could in the current form reinforce any team in the world. A good option if a complete player rather than a talent is thought after.

Internal solutions could be Bittencourt and Hofmann. The former seems not yet convincing although he lately played some games for the A team. Hofmann looked more promising, but saw his measured performance dropping in the last year.