Man Utd, Liverpool, Barcelona: Champions League favourites ranked, Lionel Messi's PSG in 10th

  • Kobe Tong

The draw for the 2021/22 Champions League group stages has been complete.

Seeing all of Europe's biggest clubs shuffled around and pitted together always makes for one of the most exciting moments in a new season and the latest ceremony in Istanbul was no different.

Football fans have already been treated to some blockbuster clashes with everything from Chelsea vs Juventus, Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid and Barcelona vs Bayern Munich on the cards.

2021/22 Champions League

There's even a chance that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could lock horns if the former moves to Manchester City having wound up in the same group as Paris Saint-Germain.

And all of that comes before we even mention Manchester United rematching Villarreal and Inter Milan facing Real Madrid, so rest assured that some incredible match-ups are coming very soon.

However, while all those scintillating clashes are guaranteed to make for entertaining watches, it certainly doesn't help football fans in their mission to predict who will lift 'Big Ears' next year.

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Data gurus on the Champions League

With so many clubs having a genuine shot at going all the way this season, you'd be mad to try and make a prediction but then again, isn't that exactly what makes forecasting football so fun?

The answer, in case you're wondering, is an emphatic 'yes' and there is arguably no better way to try and predict the chaos of the Champions League than via some of the best analysts in the land.

We say that because we're turning to the data gurus at FiveThirtyEight - who predict everything from politics and science - to see who statistics suggest will win the Champions League this season.

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Using a fascinating algorithm, which you can learn more about here, the analysts have ranked all 32 clubs by their chances of going all the way and winning the final at the Krestovsky Stadium.

Champions League favourites

Intriguing, right? Well, fear not, because we won't keep the findings from you only longer, so be sure to check out how the Champions League clubs stack up their chances of winning down below:

32. Sheriff Tiraspol - <1% chance of winning

31. Malmo - <1%

30. Dynamo Kyiv - <1%


29. Besiktas - <1%

28. Club Brugge - <1%

27. Young Boys - <1%

26. Shakhtar Donetsk - <1%

25. Lille - <1%


24. Zenit St. Petersburg - <1%

23. Sporting Lisbon - <1%

22. AC Milan - <1%

21. Villarreal - <1%

20. FC Porto - <1%


19. Benfica - <1%

18. Wolfsburg - <1%

17. Red Bull Salzburg - 1%

16. Atalanta - 1%

15. Sevilla - 2%


14. Juventus - 2%

13. Inter Milan - 4%

12. Atletico Madrid - 4%

11. Borussia Dortmund - 4%

10. Paris Saint-Germain - 4%


9. RB Leipzig - 4%

8. Ajax - 5%

7. Manchester United - 5%

6. Real Madrid - 6%

5. Barcelona - 8%


4. Liverpool - 9%

3. Chelsea - 10%

2. Bayern Munich - 11%

1. Manchester City - 16%


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PSG only 10th favourites

Wowsers. Well, it's clear that the statisticians know something that we don't because it's mind-blowing to see that PSG are only considered to have a 4% chance of winning down in 10th place.

When you consider that the Parisians both an attack with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Messi, it seems barely believable that they would be considered less likely to win than Ajax and RB Leipzig.

Then again, it could have something to do with sharing a group with City, particularly as the analysts are once again considering Pep Guardiola as the favourites despite his recent European hoodoo.



However, regardless of the extent to which you agree with the analysts or not, allow the absolute gridlock of European giants to show just how the competitive the Champions League is set to be.

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