Supercomputer recalculates Rangers’ Europa League chances after Dortmund exploits challenge data

The Last 16 is not over yet and Giovanni van Bronckhorst has poured cold water on the idea of ​​Red Star being down in the Europa League.

But as fans rolled out of Ibrox with chants of Seville echoing through the Govan district, it had the aura of something special in the making.

The Ibrox-minded pundits are almost waiting for the starter gun to see if they can even begin to consider the idea that Rangers could go all the way.

But that’s what a steady stream of clear progress on the continent, first under Steven Gerrard and now the collected Dutchman, has done to the psyche of a supporter who for years aspired to such heights.

How realistic is a repeat of Manchester 2008 – or a campaign that could even be better?

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There are still big names in the competition.

Leverkusen silenced Ibrox in 2020. Barcelona needs no introduction.

Sevilla are perhaps the only club whose supporters love this competition more than Rangers at the moment, with a record six wins, and to do so in their hometown is the biggest carrot.

The boffins of statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight like to put their knowledge to good use when it comes to elite football competitions.

Their complex algorithm calculated the odds for each remaining team to advance to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and showpiece in May, as well as the probability of winning the towering trophy.

So what do they think of Rangers’ chances? Well, it’s a mixed bag.

Firstly, they have a 97 per cent chance of progressing to the last eight, the highest of any RB Leipzig team bar who have already qualified as their opponents were set to be now-sanctioned Spartak Moscow.

Rangers defied predictions at Dortmund

That’s a bit of a given after generating a 3-0 aggregate lead to take against Red Star’s Marakana.

At this point, they give about a one in three chance, 30% to be exact, of making it to the semi-finals.

Of course, it will all depend on which other teams come through and the luck of the draw, but there is a tendency to favor the top five leagues in their weighting.

That might have been obvious when Gers had just a 15 per cent chance of winning at Dortmund last month, then 22 per cent at home after already shocking the German giants.

They also give Gers a 9% chance of qualifying for the final and 3% of winning it.

It is skewed by Barcelona, ​​who drew 0-0 with Galatasaray and face a dreaded second leg in Istanbul, and Leipzig due to their exemption. These two teams each have a 40% chance of qualifying for the final.

The data suggests Rangers are still big underdogs just to advance to the bottom four, but they have defied the stats already this season.

About Mariel Baker

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