Celtic, Rangers on Champions League alert as supercomputer calculates odds of nightmare scenario


With European football on hiatus until February, thoughts return to the Scottish Premiership.

It’s a huge title race this season, with the winner almost assured of an automatic Champions League berth next season.

This provided a massive incentive for Celtic and Rangers, although there is a scenario where they could be turned down.

Two of the 24 automatic places in the group stage are reserved for the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League.

If the winners of the first have already qualified for the group stage via their national championship, then their place goes to the nation ranked 11th by coefficient – in this case Scotland.

If, however, the Champions League winners fail to qualify, Celtic or Rangers will miss an automatic berth and advance to the play-off round.

Since Chelsea in 2012, the winner of UEFA’s flagship competition has failed to qualify through their domestic championship, but what are the chances of that happening this time around?

The FiveThirtyEight statistics site uses a complex algorithm to make predictions about competitions around the world.

We analyzed the numbers from the domestic leagues and the Champions League to determine the likelihood that one of the remaining 16 teams will not qualify despite the trophy being lifted.

Bayern Munich

The current Champions League favorites face virtually no risk of not qualifying for next season’s competition.

They have won the Bundesliga for the past eight consecutive years and the model believes they have only a 6% chance of failing this season.

Even in this scenario, they should come out of the top four, which FiveThirtyEight considers so unlikely that it is statistically close to zero.

Chance of missing the first four: Less than one percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: 23 percent

Manchester city

Pep Guardiola is looking to get his hands on the big cup for the third time since leaving Barcelona.

His team reached the final last season and are one of the favorites to go all the way this time around.

Barring an unprecedented disaster, they will finish in the top four in the Premier League, so there is nothing to fear for the Scottish champions.

Chance of missing the first four: Less than one percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: 20 percent

Liverpool

Liverpool are another team that may have some serious trophy designs but won’t come out of the top four.

With Mohamed Salah in great shape, they could go as far as Europe and the country.




The numbers indicate that the chance of them winning the Champions League is around one in five, but they will qualify for next season’s competition anyway.

Chance of missing the first four: Less than one percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: 19 percent

Paris Saint Germain

Given that they are 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, there is no chance that PSG will come out of the French top three.

The model doesn’t give Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé much of a chance to guide the capital club to Champions League glory, but that won’t matter for Celtic or Rangers.

Chance of missing the top three: Less than one percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: three percent

Ajax

If Ajax fail to win the Eredivisie, they would have to go through two qualifying rounds to advance to the group stage.

FiveThirty Eight thinks there is only a 13% chance of this happening, while there is only a 2% chance that they will fall in the top two.

Despite the numbers that give them an 11% chance of winning the competition, they won’t need to do so to qualify again.

Chance of missing the first two: Two percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: 11 percent

RB Salzburg

Two things are fairly certain: Salzburg will win the Austrian Bundesliga and they won’t win the Champions League.

Taking the title would automatically place them in the group stage and the second would be enough to secure qualification.

Chance of missing the first two: Three percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: Less than one percent

Jock

Sporting is a proud club with a great history, but there is not too much to worry about on this point.

The Portuguese team will be in the top three and if they won the best European competition it would be a huge shock.

Chance of missing the top three: Four percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: Less than one percent

Inter

Simone Inzaghi’s side have been touted as potential dark horses to win the Champions League.

The numbers give them a four percent chance of repeating their 2010 success.

However, Inter have a 95% chance of qualifying through Serie A, so it would take a big turnaround for that to be a problem.

Chance of missing the first four: Five percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: four percent

Chelsea

Chelsea are another team with an outside chance of winning the Champions League, but like Inter they are highly unlikely to fall into the top four.

Thomas Tuchel’s side haven’t been in great shape lately so this top-four position is one to watch, but their eight percent chance of retaining the trophy they won last season are not alarming as it stands.

Chance of missing the first four: Five percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: eight percent

Lille

The bad news: If Lille win the Champions League, there is only an 11% chance that either Rangers or Celtic will get the automatic Champions League spot.

The good news: Lille are not going to win the Champions League.

Chance of missing the top three: 79 percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: Less than one percent

Benfica

There is at least a chance for a puncher that Benfica will not qualify through the Portuguese league, but that is still highly unlikely.

FiveThirtyEight also gives them virtually no chance of winning in Europe – and it’s not just the algorithm that’s against them.




Legend has it that the Lisbon team are cursed after legendary coach Bela Guttman, after winning two back-to-back European Cups, asked for a pay rise and was refused.

He reportedly said “In a hundred years, Benfica will never be European champions again”. They have lost in eight finals since, despite Eusebio and fans coming to his grave to apologize ahead of the 1990 European Cup final.

Chance of missing the top three: nine percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: Less than one percent

Villarreal

They might be the Europa League holders, but the algorithm gives Villarreal almost no chance of lifting the big one this season.

This is good news for the Scottish champions as there is currently only an eight percent chance that they will qualify again.

Chance of missing the first four: 92 percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: less than one percent

Manchester United

This is where things could potentially start to get interesting.

In numbers, United have only a 26% chance of making the top four as it stands.

They also have a one in 100 chance of winning the Champions League, but if Ralf Rangnick can make a difference and Cristiano Ronaldo does what he does on a European night out, you wouldn’t feel safe betting against that. .

Chance of missing the first four: 74 percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: one percent

Atletico Madrid

The Spanish champions have struggled this season and currently have a little over 25% chance of not finishing in the top four.

It’s a worrying proposition if you’re Rangers or Celtic, even if their 2% chance of European glory is hardly unlikely.

Diego Simeone has already led them to the brink, with two finals, so Atleti is one to watch.

Chance of missing the first four: 27 percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: two percent

Juventus

As it stands, Juve are the most dangerous for Scotland’s chances of an automatic place in the group stage next season.

A poor start in Serie A left them seven points behind the top four, but Max Allegri’s side were better in Europe.



SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 20: Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci, Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski and Giorgio Chiellini celebrate victory after the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Juventus at Gazprom Arena on October 20, 2021 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Filippo Alfero – Juventus FC / Juventus FC via Getty Images)

They won five of the six games to dominate their group, although they were beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Allegri reached the final in 2015 and 2017, and while they’re unlikely to go all the way, they currently pose the greatest danger of a Champions League brace and non-qualifying.

Chance of missing the first four: 60 percent

Chance of winning the Champions League: two percent

About Mariel Baker

Check Also

AMD Releases Latest Consistent Device Memory Mapping Linux Code – Designed for Frontier

Over the past year, we have seen various patches released by AMD engineers with a …