Man City, Barcelona have highest chance of reaching Champions League final

By Hoang An   April 10, 2024 | 07:45 pm PT
Man City, Barcelona have highest chance of reaching Champions League final
Raphinha (L) and Jules Kounde celebrate a goal for Barcelona in the 3-2 win over PSG at Parc des Princes, Paris, France, in the Champions League quarterfinals on April 10, 2024. Photo by Reuters
The results of the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals gave Manchester City and Barcelona a big chance of reaching the semifinals and final, according to supercomputer Opta.

The 3-2 victory on PSG’s home field on Wednesday helped Barcelona have a 77% chance of entering the semifinals, three times more than their opponent. In the second leg of the quarterfinals at home stadium Camp Nou on April 16, Xavi and his team only need a draw to turn that possibility into reality. The probability for Barca to enter the final also increased to 44% after the first leg, behind Man City's 46%.

Man City and Barca's chance to reach the final is double that of the remaining six clubs in the quarterfinals. Atletico Madrid, with their victory over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, has a 24% chance of reaching the final, the third highest in the tournament. They also have a great chance to reach the semifinals with 62%, only behind Man City and Barca.

The other team with more than a 50% chance of reaching the semifinals is Bayern Munich because they drew on Arsenal's home field in the first leg. However, the chance for Thomas Tuchel and his team to advance is only 52%, 4% higher than Arsenal. The chance for Bayern to enter the final is only 15%, the lowest among the eight teams.

Opta is the world's leading statistics company and data partner of many European football leagues, including the English Premier League. They assess the chance of teams to advance based on the strength index, previous encounters and form.

European bookmakers are also leaning towards the possibility of Man City defending the title.

This season's quarterfinal first-leg matches was the most competitive in 26 years, when no team won by two or more goals. The last time this happened was the 1997-1998 season, when all four quarterfinal first-leg games ended up drawing 0-0 or 1-1. That year, Real Madrid, Dortmund, Juventus and Monaco reached the semifinals, with the title going to the Spanish club.

Last season, there were three teams that won by two or more goals after the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, so the second leg was a bit less attractive and unpredictable. But this season, anything can happen in the second leg.

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