Football is not played in the histories of statistics, but they are interesting nonetheless and often enough provide reliable trends. And in this case, the stats bode relatively well for FC Barcelona’s match tomorrow night in Russia versus Spartak Moscow.
The sides have faced each other 3 times in official European competition, and Barça have never lost. The first encounters came back in 1993/4 during the now extinct (thankfully) second group stage. FC Barcelona lost a 0-2 lead in Russia to eventually draw 2-2 but then comprehensively outmatched their opponents at the Camp Nou winning 5-1.
The third match was just months ago where FC Barcelona came out a 3-2 victor despite some atrocious defending enabling the visitors to take a 2-1 lead.
One thing is for sure, facing Spartak has produced goals with an average of 4.3 goals per game.
Against sides from opposing countries again history is on Barça’s side. Quite amazingly, FC Barcelona has never lost a match in Russia. However they have not won many either. In the total 6 away matches, Barça have managed only 1 win and 5 draws. FC Barcelona’s overall record (both home and away) reads 13 matches played, 6 wins (46%), 5 draws (39%), 2 defeats (15%), 23 goals scored (1.77 per match), and 13 goals conceded (1 per match).
Spartak Moscow fare rather worse against Spanish sides. On their home turf, Spartak has managed only 3 wins from 12 matches, the rest being 6 draws and 3 defeats. In total, the Russian side has faced Spanish opposition 25 times, winning 7 (28%), drawing 6 (24%), 12 defeats (48%), 26 goals scored (1.04 per match), and 40 goals conceded (1.6 per match).
Those are the numbers. History points towards a draw tomorrow, with FC Barcelona managing only 1 point on 83% of their visits to Russia and Spartak Moscow doing the same 50% of the time when hosting a Spanish side.
A draw could lead to qualification depending on the result in the other match. If Benfica vs Celtic also end even, FC Barcelona will qualify but not necessarily first. A Celtic victory will also see Barça qualify. But Benfica are at home and know that only a win keeps them alive in the group.