Data analysts predict the most likely Champions League winners

The Champions League was totally unpredictable last season. 

Tottenham Hotspur upset the odds by reaching their first ever final, in the process overcoming unlikely semi-finalists Ajax. 

Indeed, Liverpool’s appearance in Madrid on June 1 was equally surprising after their first leg 3-0 defeat to Barcelona. 

Herein lies the beauty of the competition.

While it was dominated by Real Madrid in the 2010s, it also has a tendency to throw up shock results and with that last year in mind, surely nobody would even attempt to predict what’s going to happen beyond the last-16 this time. 

Wrong. Most fans have an opinion on whether Liverpool’s crown will be usurped in Istanbul, and thankfully predicting the Champions League winners of 2020 has now got a lot easier thanks to FiveThirtyEight.

Their data analysts have worked out the probability of each remaining team reaching the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself. 

The results look like this, with Bayern Munich the favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since 2013. 

The Bavarians will indeed be confident of making the last eight given the erratic form of their next opponents, Chelsea. 

Yet Liverpool will have been keeping a keen eye on Atletico Madrid’s poor form, with some even suggesting a heavy defeat to the Reds could spell the end for beleaguered Diego Simeone. 

It also seems strange to see Manchester City as high as third. Pep Guardiola’s men will be concentring on Europe as they sit 22 points off the pace in the Premier League, but they have yet to really make a mark on the Champions League. 

Quique Setién may sympathise, as the tournament will arguably be the making or the breaking of him at Barcelona. 

At the other end of the spectrum, the outsiders seem about right.

Valencia and Lyon would have a mountain to climb to reach the latter rounds, while Tottenham are the lowest-ranked Premier League side despite being under the stewardship of two-time Champions League winner Jose Mourinho. 

It’s only two weeks until we get another step closer to finding out for real which teams are still in with a shot. 

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