History favours home sides for second legs

UEFA.com looks at the round of 16 stats to see the omens for the second legs and finds the home sides will enjoy a considerable advantage in their bids to progress.

Chelsea and Paris resume their round of 16 tie at 1-1 after the first leg
Chelsea and Paris resume their round of 16 tie at 1-1 after the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second legs, UEFA.com delves into the archives to see whether history favours certain teams based on the results from the first legs.

The most obvious factor to look at in the round of 16 is whether playing the first leg away from home offers any advantage. Last season, all eight sides playing the first leg away qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time ever. The previous high was seven, in both 2005/06 and 2010/11; the average since the round of 16 was introduced in 2003/04 is 72% of teams playing at home in the second leg winning the tie.

This term, Borussia Dortmund – beaten 2-1 at Juventus – and Club Atlético de Madrid – 1-0 losers at Bayer 04 Leverkusen – are the only two clubs that will have to overcome first-leg away defeats when they tackle the second legs in their home stadiums.

©UEFA.com

Successful home advantage in the second leg of the last 16 does not necessarily translate in subsequent rounds, however. While almost three-quarters of the sides playing away in the first leg in the last 16 go through, that figure drops to 59% in the quarter-finals; while only 36% of teams away first in a semi-final qualify. That decline is logical given that the draw for the quarter-finals and beyond is completely open, compared with the round of 16 where the eight group winners play the first leg away from home.

©UEFA.com

History tells us there is a clear bias towards teams playing the second leg at home in the round of 16. How many sides will be able to buck that trend this month?

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