The champion, against all

The champion, against all

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17 Jul 2022
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The situation 

Madrid faces a Champions League that is predicted to be uphill. Not even his status as current champion, after leaving rivals by the wayside bursting all forecasts (one model gave him just a 1% chance of coming back to City moments before Rodrygo unleashed madness at the Bernabéu) gives him favoritism for this season. The first models do not even place Ancelotti’s men among the semifinalists seeking the ticket to Istanbul in May… Manchester City, Liverpool, PSG and Bayern Munich are the four main favorites to lift the Orejona according to the models used by international bookmakers. There is unanimity in not including Madrid in that quartet of candidates and some also place Chelsea on a par with the whites. It will not be a new situation for Madrid, who last season rowed against the tide until they lifted the Fourteenth. placed Madrid as the fifth favorite when the competition started. They barely assigned a probability of 7%, the same as a Barça that did not even get past the group stage. City, Bayern, Chelsea and Liverpool were, a priori , the great candidates. 

The details

Three of them were victims of Madrid. As the competition progressed, the Whites’ options were even lessened, as they saw Bayern, PSG or Ajax overtake them at various times in the pools. At the crossroads, Madrid doubled its challenge to the algorithm. In the round of 16, the tie was very close (55% in favor of the Whites), but PSG’s victory in the first leg turned the tables (35%). So Madrid had only a 3% chance of winning the title… In the quarterfinals, Chelsea were favorites at the match (41% chance of qualifying for Madrid). Benzema once again rebelled against the numbers. Even worse were the predictions for the semifinals (they gave Madrid 23% of going to the final) and still only 11% of winning the title. In the final in Paris, Liverpool was twice the favorite (66%-34%) and the Reds also gave in. The road to the Decimoquinta will be, once again, a journey against all odds. The champion will meet their first three rivals in defense of their crown in the group stage draw to be held on 25 August.


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