Champions League predictions: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético...
Uefa have analysed the historical trends and stats ahead of the round of 16 to attempt to divine who will win this year's Champions League. Good news for Barcelona. Juventus-Barcelona live online: ICC 2017
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Uefa have looked through the stats and trends from recent years in the Champions League and made their prediction as to who is favourite to win this year's tournament. And it's good news for Luis Enrique, Messi, Suárez, Neymar and co. According to Uefa, Barcelona (who play PSG on Tuesday 14 February) have the best chance of winning the Champions League 2016/17.
Barcelona: Group Stage winners
Uefa's methodology (which they themselves admit, tongue in cheek, is "highly scientific") started by spotting that of the last 11 European Cup winners, 10 won their group stage. Only Inter Milan (2009-20) didn't. For Europe's governing body that means it's less likely that any of Real Madrid, Sevilla, Benfica, Manchester City, Bayern Múnich, Oporto, Bayer Leverkusen or PSG could win the title this year.
No title, no chance
Uefa's number-bashers also reckon any team who hasn't already lifted the European Cup are likely to struggle. As they explain, 21 different sides have won the trophy, but in the last 19 editions only Chelsea were a first-time winner. For Uefa that puts the kybosh on the chances of Atlético, Sevilla, Leicester, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City, Mónaco, Nápoles, PSG and Arsenal.
All about defence
Finally, Uefa reckon defence is vital. According to them, no team has won the champions League having conceded more than eight goals in the group stage. Real Madrid (10 conceded), Manchester City (10), Borussia Dortmund (9) and Benfica (9) are therefore in serious difficulties if they want to be parading the trophy in Cardiff in May.
2016: Real Madrid, 2017: Barcelona
Uefa's prediction last year was for Real Madrid to win it. Maybe they do know a thing or too...
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