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A supercomputer has predicted the results of the Champions League last 16 ties – with Manchester City tipped to qualify for the quarter-finals.
City face Borussia Monchengladbach in the first knockout round of the competition. The German side currently sit seventh in the Bundesliga and qualified in second place behind Real Madrid in Group B.
Led by Marco Rose, they are a dangerous, counter-attacking team who finished fourth in the Bundesliga last term, just four points behind Borussia Dortmund in second.
And ahead of the opening knockout round of the Champions League, analytics gurus at FiveThirtyEight have crunched the numbers on which teams they believe are mostly likely to win the competition.
They use SPI ratings, which have an offensive and defensive component, to determine which team is likely to win their specific tie and how likely they are to progress through the competition and to eventual victors.
Based on 538’s analysis, City are named as the favourites to win the Champions League.
According to their numbers, City have a 92% chance of beating Monchengladbach and qualifying for the quarter-finals.
They then have a 71% chance to make the semi-finals, though this number could change significantly with the opponent they face in the quarter-finals.
They then have a 53% chance of making the final and a 37% chance of winning the final.
Not only is this the best figure in the entire field; at present, City’s chances of winning the final are more than double any other team, with Bayern Munich in second place with a 14% chance.
The only other team with a chance of winning the Champions League above 10% are Barcelona, with Liverpool and Real Madrid rounding at the top five at 7% and 5% respectively.
To put City’s last-16 ascendancy into context, their opponents, Monchengladbach, rank bottom by 538’s metrics. They have a less than 1% chance of winning the Champions League and just an 8% chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
City’s SPI rating of 93.9 is 2.4 clear of any other team in the competition. Only Barcelona (91.5) and Bayern (90.5) have ratings above 90.
City’s quality stems from their defensive rating. City rank first in defensive rating and third in offensive rating.
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Manchester City consolidated their position at the top of the league with a routine 3-0 win over Spurs on Saturday.
Is the title all theirs already?
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Pep Guardiola has not managed to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona.
Many have suggested that it is a more important trophy to this City team than the Premier League and there is growing pressure on them to deliver in the knockout stages.
Based on these numbers – and the team’s recent form – you would give City a good chance of going far in the competition.
This content was originally published here.