The Champions League returns this week, as the round of 16 begins with Arsenal and Manchester City still in the British competition.
But you don’t need to watch it, because someone has done the math and determined who is going to win.
Football statistics platform Opta has simulated the Champions League round of 16 10,000 times to determine what will happen. And no prizes for guessing who is most likely to come out on top.
Manchester City are the heavy favorites to win the tournament, winning 32.1 percent of fantasy tournaments run by Opta’s model.
They are followed by Real Madrid with 15.4 percent of wins, Inter Milan with 11.6 percent and Bayern Munich with 10.1 percent.
Arsenal fans can rejoice in the fact that they have won 8.4 percent of the time, making them fifth favorites to win the famous trophy.
But City are clearly the top dog. And with Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland returning to the team in recent weeks, their chances will only improve.
Belgian maestro De Bruyne has already had a devastating effect on the Premier League matches he has played in since returning from injury, notching an assist in three consecutive matches.
Haaland, meanwhile, has had a quieter season than his debut with City, with 16 goals in 18 matches – a remarkable record that most other strikers would be jealous of.
Real Madrid have their own secret weapon in Jude Bellingham, who has set the Spanish league alight this year with a succession of game-changing performances.
With the Brazilian Vinicius Jr and Bellingham, two of the best players in the world today, and at their head Carlo Ancelotti, the most decorated coach in the history of the competition, they have every chance of going all the way.
Inter Milan reached the final last year, while a rejuvenated Arsenal boast one of the world’s best wingers, Bukayo Saka.
As for Bayern Munich? Harry Kane has scored an incredible 24 goals in 21 matches for them.
Despite City’s dominance, this year’s competition is shaping up to be another dramatic affair.
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