Liverpool are most likely to get Monchengladbach, Chelsea have a 19% chance of facing RB Leipzig and Barcelona must fear a Bayern Munich reunion… Why the Champions League draw’s probabilities are NOT all equal
- The draw for the last-16 stage of the Champions League takes place on Monday
- A user on reddit has shown that draw possibilities are not equal for every team
- Liverpool are statistically most likely to meet Borussia Monchengladbach next
- Barcelona could be handed a reunion with Bayern, months on from 8-2 defeat
Jurgen Klopp looks set to head back to Germany with Liverpool most likely to meet Borussia Monchengladbach in Monday’s Champions League last-16 draw.
A calculation of the probabilities of each pairing shows that the English trio of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, all of whom won their group, are statistically most likely to be heading to face Marco Rose’s Gladbach side in the first knockout round.
German teams only have five potential draw options due to having two teams seeded – Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – and two not seeded – Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig.
Liverpool are most likely to be handed a draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in Monday’s Champions League draw for the last-16, according to new probability calculations
Monchengladbach finished second in their group and only have five possible opponents
Worryingly for Barcelona, who were comprehensively beaten by Juventus 3-0 in Matchday Six to drop to second in the group, they are most likely to be handed a reunion with defending champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern are most likely to face either of the Spanish teams – Sevilla or Barcelona – and they would likely rub their hands together at the prospect of taking on Ronald Koeman’s out-of-sorts side.
The last time the two met it was in the Champions League bubble in Lisbon to conclude the 2019-20 competition.
The quarter-final cost Quique Setien his job at Barcelona as Lionel Messi and Co were blown away in an 8-2 demolition job, a result viewed as one of the worst in the club’s history.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are also set for a trip to Germany after they topped their group
Chelsea have a 19 per cent probability of meeting Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig in the last-16
The way the maths works for the table of probability is as follows.
The 16 teams that have made it through have been divided into two pots – those that finished top of their groups will be seeded and will play a team that finished second.
However, at this stage of the competition, teams from the same country and teams that have just played in the same group cannot be drawn against each other.
While this immediately reduces the possible opponents for each team, their chances of being matched to a particular team are also affected by the number of clubs from each country that have qualified and which pot they’re in.
The reason the percentages are not equal is that some teams have the prospect of being drawn against five eligible teams, others have six or seven options, and so the values change. Juventus and Gladbach both have only five potential pairings and so are most likely to meet. Real Madrid only have four.
In this upcoming draw there are four German, four Spanish, three English, three Italian, one French and one Portuguese club in the draw.
According to the calculations, Liverpool, who topped a group including Atalanta, who finished second, have an 18.38 per cent chance of facing Borussia Monchengladbach.
Barcelona are facing the prospect of a reunion with Bayern, who beat them 8-2 back in August
Chelsea, who edged out Sevilla to top their group, are even more likely to head to Borussia Park with a likelihood of 18.62 per cent.
Manchester City disappointingly suffered elimination in the quarter-final stage to Lyon last season and are targeting a deep run this time round. Pep Guardiola’s side are least likely to meet Atalanta, who beat Liverpool at Anfield this season, with just a 12.4 per cent chance of pairing with the Bergamo-based side.
Porto finished runners-up in City’s group and are viewed as the most favourable match-up among the second-placed teams.
Real Madrid, who staved off the threat of elimination to top Group B, are in line for a trip to RB Leipzig as reward for the final round salvation. But, of Porto’s potential options, they are also the most likely.
The influx of Spanish sides finishing second mean that Zidane’s players are facing only four options in Monday’s draw: RB Leipzig, Porto, Atalanta and Lazio.
The last-16 draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday.
Manchester City have seven potential opponents as they cannot be drawn against Porto
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