Five gameweeks of Champions League matches have now been concluded and Arsenal have secured their place in the knock-out stages as group winner. Relief, no Barcelona game again so soon! [Ed – Jin is an Arsenal fan] However, the journey to the knock-out stage is less smooth for the other three English clubs. Man City, in contrast to their superior position in the Premier League have looked rather nervous in their first season in the Champions League. After losing to Napoli, they surrendered a good chance to qualify and now, as Mancini put it: “we have a 30 percent chance”.
As statistical analysts, we’d naturally like to examine his quote. Our European full-time score model covers over 20 European football leagues and any team who has played a substantial number of matches in our covered competitions will be evaluated and assigned a team strength according to their performance. By using those team strengths we are able to make simulations of the Champions League and make predictions for the competition.
It means we can also predict City’s chance of qualifying to each stage of the competition. Below is what I found (click for a larger version):
City currently only have a 21% chance of qualifying to the knockout stage. It’s making even Mancini’s prediction look optimistic. We also predict City have a 3% chance of reaching the final and 1% chance of winning the competition. The chart below shows the latest probability for each team to win this year’s competition (click for a larger version):
Our simulations show that if City do manage to survive the group stage, they would have a 6% chance to win the competition. Still, that chance is dwarfed by Barcelona and Real Madrid!