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UCL 1st Knockout Stage - Probabilities

The UEFA Champions League returns with the 1st knockout stage and 16 teams remaining. No major upsets were seen in the group stage, but a couple of surprising sides are featured in the round of 16. Last season’s semifinalists Ajax were left stranded in the group stage, but it was rather expected after being harvested clean of their most talented players during the summer by the bigger clubs. Notably, all the big five leagues of Europe are represented, but none of the smaller nations made the cut this time. We have four teams from Spain and England, three teams from Germany and Italy and two teams From France – no Portugal, no Netherlands.

1st Knockout Stage

The first knockout stage is played over two legs with the goal aggregate rules applying. Using Accuscore’s simulation engine we are able to determine the most likely outcome of both of the legs, although the setting might change depending on the results of the first game. Regardless, here are the most likely candidates to go through to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League 2019/2020.

Atletico Madrid – Liverpool

The reigning champions take on the Spanish La Liga challengers, who have struggled especially in the attacking front this season. Liverpool have been dominant in domestic Premier League and have yet to lose a game. They had some issues in group stages, but when the stakes get higher, they are likely to add some steam. Liverpool to progress with 78% probability.

Dortmund – PSG

The French giants have some of the best players in the world at their disposal and better balanced team overall than in many previous occasions. Winning the Champions League is their only target, as they’ve done it domestically enough times already. Dortmund puts up a good challenge, but the quality is lacking just a bit and the young stars gain good experience but can’t quite deliver. PSG moves on with 67% probability.

Atalanta – Valencia

Two dark horses drawn together, Atalanta has been a spark in Serie A playing all-out-attack football and scoring aplenty, taking them fourth in the league. Valencia have had their issues in La Liga and are only seventh, but the team is feisty and spirited. Atalanta’s attack is likely to win this one though and the Italians head to top-8 with 61% probability.

Tottenham – RB Leipzig

Last season’s surprise runner-ups vs the up and coming challengers. Things went wrong with Spurs early on and Jose Mourinho is now in charge – it looks better but missing Harry Kane is an issue. Leipzig is challenging for title domestically but they have an excellent chance to oust Spurs and go to top 8 in UCL. The team is full of quality if lacking some depth. Leipzig will upset Spurs with 58% probability.

Chelsea – Bayern München

Chelsea have been only decent this season, with Frank Lampard unable to bring in replacing players for Eden Hazard or anyone else. The team is lacking in many positions and prolific striker Tammy Abraham might be out as well. Bayern is full of talent again and concentrate fully on winning the UCL. Robert Lewandowski Is red hot and the team is gelled well together. Bayern progresses with 80% probability.

Napoli – Barcelona

Both teams have had their issues domestically, but Napoli is in deeper waters. Their managerial change didn’t help and the team is not looking any better. They have talent, but the system seems to be faulty. Barcelona made a surprising change in management and are back to their “old” ways, dominating games. Only issue is the thin squad, will they have enough energy to battle in all fronts? We think so and Barcelona heads to quarter finals with 74% probability.

Lyon – Juventus

Juventus have had a scare in Serie A, with the challengers looking to usurp the title, but they are back on top again. The team is as good as ever, if getting a little old – might be one of the last chances to take home the coveted trophy with this team core. Lyon has had a disastrous season and they’re far off from making it to UCL again next season. Offensively sound team lacks structure and should present no danger to Juventus, who are heading to top 8 with 81% probability.

Real Madrid – Manchester City

Probably the most even of the pairings, two of the world’s most expensive teams face each other. Real has done better in domestic league, but had issues in group stages. Manchester City is marred by non-footballing matters and this might be their only shot at UCL in a couple of years. Both teams are full of quality, experience and depth, so it’s likely to come down to goal differences and maybe even away goals and overtime. City’s star players have had a bit more pump this season, so Manchester is slightly more likely to progress with 59% probability.

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