The Ultimate Guide to Champion League Football Tactics in 2023

Champion League Trophy on Stage
Home » Champion League » Champion League Round 16 2023

Champion League football is one the most prestigious club-level football tournament in the world. Except of when the World Cup is around every four years. It is a competition where the best teams from across Europe come together to battle it out for the title of Champions of Europe A players dream to play in the Champion League and well win the tournament once in their playing career. Each year, fans from around the world tune in to watch the exciting matches and support their favourite teams. Champion League showcase of some of the most talented players and tactical masterpieces in the beautiful game of football.

An Overview of Champion League Last 16 Teams

The last 16 stage of the Champion League in 2023 promises to be just as thrilling as ever. Some of the top teams from across Europe will be competing, including Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and more. Each of these teams has a unique playing style and set of tactics that they will bring to the field in their quest for the title. With top class players and coaches going head-to-head to provide a masterclass in tactics and motivation.

Let dive into how teams will set-up tactically for the 2023 most prestigious tournament in club football.

Analysing the Top Champion League Teams' Tactics

To get a better understanding of the tactics used in the Champion League. Let's take a closer look at some of the top teams competing in this year's tournament.

  1. Manchester City, for example, is known for their quick passing game and pressing style of play. City place a strong emphasis on controlling pace of the game and using players technical ability to create scoring opportunities.
  2. Real Madrid, on the other hand, is known for their counter-attacking style of play. The kings of Europe are quick in counter attack. They can turn defence to attack and using the speed of their forwards to catch the opposing team off guard.
  3. Bayern Munich is another team that consistently impresses in the Champion League. They have a well-rounded playing style, with a focus on possession and dominating the midfield. They use a combination of quick passing and aggressive play to control the tempo of the game and create opportunities for their forwards.
  4. Paris Saint-Germain is another team to watch in this year's tournament. They are known for their attacking prowess, with a talented group of forwards who can score goals from anywhere on the pitch. They use a fast-paced, high-pressure style of play to keep their opponents on the back foot.

What we like to do at The Stats Ball is to look at underdog teams that are performing well in their respective leagues and how they might be making a deep run in the tournament this year.

Neymar PSG
Neyman PSG Leading Forward in 202

Underdogs of Champion League football 2023

Let start off with the team of the season in Serie A and across all of football.


Football no longer uses systems; instead, it focuses on the openings created by the opposition, according to Napoli head coach Luciano Spalletti, following his team's 4-2 victory over Ajax at home.

"You must be quick to recognize them (the openings) and know when to strike; you must also have the guts to make the first move even while under pressure."

Napoli is actively engaging in each of those activities. They were ranked first in the group stage for Opta's definition of "big chances" (30), "through balls" (21), "goals" (20), and "xG." (16.4). In 29 games across all competitions, they have won 24, demonstrating their superiority.


One of the European teams in the worst shape is Liverpool.

They have conceded 28 goals in the Premier League, which is more than all of last season's total, demonstrating their incapacity to fend off the threat of the counterattack (26).

The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, and Luis Diaz have all missed significant amounts of time due to injuries under Jurgen Klopp, but Liverpool still has to get better on both sides of the field.

Their 10-game rolling average xG difference, which takes into account the caliber of chances generated and surrendered, demonstrates the severity of their Premier League downturn.

If pass history though us, not all winners of the tournament does well in the respective league. Could it be Liverpool year again after winning the tournament 4 years ago.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund Players celebrating
Borussia Dortmund Players celebrating: Photo

Dortmund must make up lost ground. Last season, they were eliminated in the group stages of the Champions League, and just once in the previous four years have they advanced past the round of 16.

But they have won all six of their games since the World Cup restarted and are in strong form under Edin Terzic.

For further in-depth analysis with visual data check out the amazing blog post here on football.

In the group stages, they were typically counter-attacking and had the joint-lowest possession percentage (45.4 per cent, tied with Porto). Dortmund also had the fifth-highest rate of direct attacks (3 per 90), which are runs that begin in a team's own half and go at least 50% toward the goal of the opposition and end with a shooting or a touch inside the penalty area.


In November 2020, Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao commented of his team's run to the Champions League quarterfinals, "We can reach such heights again."

Conceicao, who has been in charge for six seasons, has twice led Porto to the quarterfinals and four times has led the team to this round of the Champions League (2018-19, 2020-21).

This season, they struggled to get there, dropping their first two games before winning the final four. They outscored opponents 11-1 in three victories, let up only one goal, and won the group ahead of Club Bruges, Bayer Leverkusen, and Atletico Madrid.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, tactics play a crucial role in the success of teams in the Champion League. Teams that are able to effectively implement their strategies and make smart decisions on the field have a distinct advantage over those that do not. Sometimes as we have seen with Real Madrid last year it is not all about tactics. But it is about the pedigree and the history behind the club. The atmosphere is also very important when it comes to Champion League football.

With the Last 16 stage of this year's tournament set to be just as thrilling as ever, fans can look forward to some truly memorable matches.

What is the Champion League Football?

The Champion League Football is a prestigious club-level football tournament in Europe where the best teams from across the continent come together to compete for the title of Champions.

What is the importance of tactics in Champion League Football?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *