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Champions League: Liverpool the LEAST likely English side to reach knockout stages

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Liverpool are the least likely Premier League side to progress to the Champions League knockout phase this season while Manchester United are not among the top-eight contenders, suggests a statistical forecast on the competition. 

Europe’s leading club competition gets underway tonight with Chelsea – the defending champions – rated as the second-most likely team to go through as a result of a favourable group. 

The forecast, produced by data company Gracenote via the Euro Club Index, also labels Bayern Munich as the surprise favourites to win the competition – but the Germans only have 18.4 per cent chance of doing just that – while PSG are only seventh on the list of favourites despite signing Lionel Messi. 

Liverpool are the least likely English side to progress to the Champions League knockout-stage

Jurgen Klopp's side also have only a 7 per cent chance of winning the Champions League, according to the statistical forecast

Liverpool are the least likely English side to progress to the Champions League knockout stage

Bayern Munich, who won the 2020 competition, are the shock favourites to win it this season

Bayern Munich, who won the 2020 competition, are the shock favourites to win it this season

MAIN CONTENDERS FOR CL TROPHY  

  1. Bayern Munich – 18%
  2. Manchester City – 17%
  3. Real Madrid – 11%
  4. Barcelona – 10%
  5. Chelsea – 8%
  6. Liverpool – 7%
  7. PSG – 6%
  8. Atletico Madrid – 6% 

For Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, they have only a 7 per cent chance of winning the Champions League this season, according to the Euro Club Index which is what the forecast is based on. 

Liverpool’s chances of reaching the knockout stage declined by 11 per cent following the draw, which pitted them with Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan. 

All four teams in Group B are ranked in Europe’s top-21 by the Euro Club Index, making it this season’s ‘Group of Death.’ 

Simon Gleave, Nielsen Gracenote’s Head of Sports Analysis, said: ‘Liverpool were hit particularly hard by the Champions League draw. Atletico Madrid are one of the four best top seeds, FC Porto are the second best third seed and AC Milan are the strongest of the bottom seeds.’

Meanwhile, with Bayern Munich the No 1 contenders to win the competition, the other seven main contenders listed are Manchester City, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid. 

Manchester United are ranked as the ninth-favourites – with a 4 per cent chance of victory – with Sevilla level-10th alongside Borussia Dortmund.  

Manchester United, led by the returning Cristiano Ronaldo, are ranked as the ninth-favourites

Manchester United, led by the returning Cristiano Ronaldo, are ranked as the ninth-favourites

PSG, with Lionel Messi and Neymar leading the line, are behind Barcelona in list of favourites

PSG, with Lionel Messi and Neymar leading the line, are behind Barcelona in list of favourites

Via the statistical analysis, a Lionel Messi-led PSG side are only the seventh favourites to win the competition, with Barcelona four per cent more likely and Manchester City 11 per cent more likely. 

Pep Guardiola’s side – who were runners-up to Chelsea last season – are the second-favourites behind Bayern, despite having never won the competition.  

In terms of the group stage, Chelsea’s chances of progressing rocketed up from 81 per cent to 92 per cent after the draw. 

Gleave said: ‘Chelsea did very well out of the Champions League draw.

Defending champions Chelsea are in a favourable group, with Juventus, Zenit and Malmo

Defending champions Chelsea are in a favourable group, with Juventus, Zenit and Malmo 

‘The Champions League holders are in a group with the Euro Club Index’s lowest ranked second seed (Juventus), lowest ranked third seed (FC Zenit) and second lowest ranked fourth seed (Malmo FF).’

United’s chances of reaching the last 16 barely changed after the draw (79 per cent to 78 per cent), as they were drawn alongside Villarreal, Atalanta and Young Boys.    

City’s chances also went down just 2 per cent, despite being grouped with highly-rated PSG, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge. 

Of the top 16 teams to go through, Ajax, Atalanta and Wolfsburg are seen as the most vulnerable as all have less than 60 per cent chance. 

Manchester City's chances of winning the Champions League went down just 2% post-draw

Manchester City’s chances of winning the Champions League went down just 2% post-draw 

Leipzig were the team who suffered most from the draw, with their qualification odds dropping by 17 per cent after being drawn alongside City and PSG. 

Yet Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern are the only teams which start the competition with over 90 per cent chance of qualifying for the knockout phase. 

Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, Benfica, Leipzig, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Villarreal and RB Salzburg are the most likely teams to finish third in their groups and progress to the Europa League knockout rounds. 

WHAT IS THE EURO CLUB INDEX?  

The Euro Club Index is a proprietary ranking of all European football clubs based on results in competition over a four year period and emphasis on recent results.

· Teams win or lose rating points from opponents every time a match is played.

· The number of points won or lost depends on how far apart the two clubs are.

· For example, stronger clubs will win fewer points by beating weaker clubs.

· However, if defeated, they stand to lose many points.

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