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Champions League Knockout Draw Preview

Champions League Probability

Chelsea could well find themselves on a collision course with Barcelona in the last-16 of the Champions League with that the most likely outcome from Monday’s draw.

A calculation of the probabilities of each pairing shows that Liverpool and Manchester City are most likely to face a trip to Madrid to play either Real or Atletico.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will be thrilled if they avoid the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain and pull out their most likely tie against Valencia.

The Twitter account LaLigaenDirecto, run by mathematics graduate Fran Martinez, has calculated the percentage chances of each club being drawn together in the last-16.

The 16 teams that have made it through have been divided into two pots – those that finished top of their groups will be seeded and will play a team that finished second.

However, at this stage of the competition, teams from the same country and teams that have just played in the same group cannot be drawn against each other.

While this immediately reduces the possible opponents for each team, their chances of being matched to a particular team are also affected by the number of clubs from each country that have qualified and which pot they’re in.

For the first time in Champions League history, only England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany will be represented in the last-16.

There are four English, four Spanish, three German, three Italian and two French clubs in the draw.

By the calculations, Chelsea, who came second in their group have a 23.38 per cent chance of drawing Barcelona because they can’t draw Valencia having been in the same group as them, as well as compatriots Liverpool and Man City.

Because Tottenham had Bayern in their group, and cannot play City or Liverpool at this stage, they have a higher probability of drawing a Spanish club, either Valencia (22.68 per cent) or Barcelona (22.33).

City, who won their group, can’t be paired with Spurs, Chelsea or group opponents Atalanta. That increases the chances of getting a Spanish team, with either of the Madrid sides likely.

The same applies to Liverpool, who could face a quick return to Madrid after they won the Champions League there last season. They cannot play against Spurs, Chelsea or Napoli.