The Champions League is officially on the comeback trail after Friday's quarter-final draw.
European football's premier competition was brought to a grinding halt by the coronavirus pandemic in March with four of the round of 16 ties completed and the remaining four left unresolved.
Close to Champions League return
We would put Bayern Munich vs Chelsea into that group seeing as they still have a second leg to play but sorry Blues fans, we can't see you scoring three unreturned away goals in Bavaria.
Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to see who joins RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid, Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain in what promises to be an incredible 11-day festival of football in Lisbon.
If anything, though, the new system that the biological crisis has forced upon European football makes predicting the 2019/20 Champions League winner harder than ever.
Who will win in Lisbon?
It's simply impossible to tell in advance how playing behind closed doors, ditching seconds legs and being cooped away in the Portuguese capital will effect the continent's finest teams.
So, instead of making our own attempt at a Nostradamus impression, we've turned to data gurus fivethirtyeight.com to see what the stats say about the Champions League season.
They've crunched the numbers - you can check out their full process here - to give an accurate model ranking all 12 clubs on their percentage chance of taking home 'Big Ears' this summer.
Most likely winners statistically
Who are the favourites? Who are the least likely to win? Well, keep scrolling to see what the data analysts say and it makes for interesting reading:
12. Chelsea - <1%
If Chelsea win the Champions League this season, I'll get a tattoo of the club badge on my arm. Take as many screenshots as you like, I'm not scared.
11. Napoli - <1%
This seems a little harsh on Napoli, to be honest, considering they're fresh from beating Juventus to the Coppa Italia and it's still all to play for against Barcelona after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
10. Lyon - <1%
Again, a little cruel to roll Lyon in with the same percentage as Chelsea considering they defeated Juventus in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. No chance they're going all the way in Lisbon, mind.
9. Juventus - 2%
The stats are favouring Cristiano Ronaldo and co. to turn things around against Lyon, which is hard to disagree with, but giving them just a 2% chance of winning the whole thing seems harsh.
8. Real Madrid - 2%
Data is a cruel thing, apparently. I'd wager that Real should have more than a 2% chance seeing as Zinedine Zidane has literally won the competition every single season with Los Blancos.
7. Atalanta - 5%
Just imagine. They might be safely through to the quarter-finals, but I wouldn't part with too much money on there being a Leicester-esque fairytale this summer.
6. Atletico Madrid - 7%
You what? Atletico are wallowing in La Liga, granted, but drawing RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals fresh from beating reigning champions Liverpool means they should be much higher than this.
5. RB Leipzig - 8%
Speaking of which, I can't see Leipzig progressing past Atletico in the final eight, so clearly the German's domestic form is responsible for them being likelier victors than their opponents.
4. Barcelona - 9%
Barca should have Napoli under their thumb in the second leg, though I don't fancy their chances against Bayern in the quarter-finals. This placing feels about right.
3. Paris Saint-Germain - 14%
Is it PSG's year at long, long last? Perhaps, considering they have Atalanta in the quarter-finals and have finally ditched their round of 16 curse, but we're inclined to think their wait will go on.
2. Bayern Munich - 22%
The favourites in many people's eyes and 'many people' happens to include myself. Having Ballon d'Or-bound Robert Lewandowski leading their line is a massive advantage, no doubt.
1. Manchester City - 30%
Very interesting. The data is backing Pep Guardiola's men for glory this summer and you can expect them to throw the kitchen sink in Lisbon if their appeal against a European ban is rejected.
Who will become European champs?
Bayern and City are the main Champions League contenders then and it's hard to disagree.
You just know that the Citizens will be motivated from top to toe if they're going to be absent from the competition for the next two seasons and Bayern are dropping with quality all over the pitch.
That being said, in a competition where anything can happen at the best of times, you wouldn't be surprised if there's a shock on the cards. Either way, we can't wait to find out.
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