After what happened in the Champions League to Chelsea last night and to Arsenal last week, I think it’s safe to say that for most English fans it’s time to focus on the less prestigious Europa League, for the first time in many years. I spoke to a colleague (a Man Utd fan) after the Arsenal vs. Milan game; I couldn’t hide my envy that her team is still in a European tournament. It’s the same old February for Arsenal: a period that they exit all competitions. Nevertheless, life has to go on (for me) and I decided to look at English teams’ chances of winning the Europa League.
Not surprisingly, before the knock-out stage of the Europa League, Man Utd were rated as the favourites according to our model, with an 85% chance to reach the next round and a 33% chance to win the tournament. Manchester City were 2nd favourites with 17%. However, having been drawn against a tough opponent, Porto, their chance of reaching the next round was calculated as 62%. As for Stoke City, facing Valencia (who are currently 3rd in the La Liga) might just prove to be too much for them. We reckoned that they would only have a 27% chance to go through and a meagre 1% chance to win (not impossible!).
The 1st leg was concluded last week in which we saw both Man Utd and Man City overcome their opponents away from home. Both teams’ chances of progression have increased by some healthy margin to 98% and 87% respectively. Moreover, their chances of winning the tournament have improved to 37% and 22%. In contrast, Stoke’s progress chance has been reduced to 12% and winning chance to a mere 0.2%.
Below is the table of progression chance for every team after 1st leg was concluded: