The 2020/2021 Champions League season has gone halfway, with 108 matches already played so far. The men have been separated from the boys with the first 32 teams reduced to 16. But this did not come without drama, as some clubs had to rely on other teams’ results to qualify while others had to fight with sweat and blood to make it to the next round.
In the end, 16 teams emerged while another eight dropped to the Europa League.
After the group stage round, fivethirtyeight.com assessed chances for each team in Round of 16, of lifting this year’s showpiece.
Our study for chances (in %) is based on Betting odds as on today (14th December, 2020)
Bayern Munich (28.0%)
The reigning champions remain most people’s favourite for this year’s UCL title with their attacking brilliance endearing so many fans to them. The Bavarians finished the group stages unbeaten and with 18 goals to their name—the most in the group stages. They will fancy their chance against any team in the knock-out stages and will be looking to join Real Madrid as the only team to win back-to-back UCL titles.
Manchester City (17.5%)
The Sky Blues have been declared favourites for this years’ showpiece with a whopping 24% chance assigned to them. Pep Guardiola’s team have underperformed in recent years with last year’s semi-final loss to Lyon, one of the most embarrassing results in the club’s recent history. But this time, they look like going the distance after winning five of their six group stage matches and conceding only one goal. They will also be highly motivated to go a distance better to the final following failures in recent times.
The Reds are still regarded as one of the best in the business in these parts. The 2019 winners are having an inconsistent season so far due to a host of injuries to first-team players. But with the injury expected to have eased by the time the knock-out stages will begin, the English champions can be backed to inflict damage to any side. And with fans expected to return by then, they will fancy their chances over two legs against any side in the division.
Paris Saint-Germain (7%)
Last year’s finalists PSG were at one point in danger of demotion to the Europa League, but the French Champions rallied when it mattered and finished as group winners. Despite their inconsistency in Europe, they can hurt anyone on their day.
Thomas Tuchel’s side will hope to go one better than they did last year and bring the Big Ears to Parc des Princes for the first time in their history.
Rookie boss Andrea Pirlo guided his side to a top of the table finish in the group stages, finishing above Barcelona on goal difference. But their performance in those games wouldn’t have made them favourites for many.
They still have Cristiano Ronaldo though and can hurt any team on their day as Barcelona found out in Nou Camp last Tuesday.
Real Madrid (5.8%)
That Real Madrid are this far away in the standings goes to show how bad they have been in recent times. The La Liga champions and Champions League record-holders were close to demotion to Europa League going into the last match of the group stages. But they rallied and bailed themselves out to top their group. However, their lucky escape can only serve as a motivation for teams who will face them in the knock-out stages.
Zidane’s men have lost their fear factor and have looked ordinary in recent matches. But with the experience and quality in the team, they cannot be completely written off. Real Madrid is still Real Madrid.
Frank Lampard’s revolution is quietly taking shape at Stamford Bridge. The Blues emerged from their group as winners with four wins (D2), while scoring fourteen times conceding only two.
They have a young exciting squad full of experience and talent to go the distance. Over two legs, Frank Lampard’s team can be backed against any side.
Barcelona may be in crises at the moment, but they remain a formidable side nonetheless. Just two weeks ago they were the best team in the UCL with five wins in their opening five group stage games, before a lacklustre performance against a brilliant Juventus side tainted their record. Despite their form, no team will want to face them. On their day, they can hurt anyone and with Lionel Messi still in the side and desperate to add another UCL title to his trophy cabinet, they can go the length.
Atletico Madrid (3.9%)
Atletico Madrid have not come close to the final since 2017 when they lost to Real Madrid in the final. Since then, Diego Simeone’s side have made it to only as far as the semi-final.
They remain a solid side, with the addition of serial winner Luis Suarez adding more steel to them. No team will think them as walk-overs over two legs—Liverpool can testify—so they remain in contention to go the distance.
Borussia Dortmund (3.2%)
A team full of exciting players and talent, Dortmund remain outsiders in this year’s UCL campaign. The German side may have disappointed at times, but they cannot be completely written off. Against the more established names, Dortmund can be backed to get a result, not to mention, against smaller sides. If the draws favour them in the knock-out stages, you may be seeing them in the finals.
RB Leipzig (1.7%)
Last year’s semi-finalists have proven that when underestimated, they will do damage. They took their qualification fight to the last day, and came out on top against a Manchester United that crashed to the Europa League. Many had tipped them to finish in third behind PSG and Man United, but they produced a performance of a top team to book their place in the quarter-finals. Expect them to give this one their best fight, too. Who knows, they could go one better this time and make it to the finals.
Experts in Europa league, this time they remained in the UCL. Their performance has not been so exciting, but Julian Lopetegui is building a solid team in Seville.
Last year’s surprise team have made it to the knockout stages again this time. They did so by winning Ajax on the last round. Expect them to cause trouble in the next round.
The Italian side made it to the knock-out stage of the UCL for the first time in two decades. Quite a feat for Simone Inzaghi, whose side have been on an upward trajectory in recent seasons. But the Champions League might be too much for them this season, judging by their performance in the group stages.
Borussia Mönchengladbach (0.6%)
Perhaps this year’s surprise team. The Germans won the hearts of many with their brilliance and flair in the attacking third. But their inexperience, it appears will be their greatest undoing against more established sides.
FC Porto (0.5%)
The Portuguese side have made it a habit of always showing up in the quarter-finals but taking nothing out of it. This year doesn’t look different as every team will want to to get drawn with them.