Heavyweights collide? Chelsea’s most likely Champions League Last-16 opponents revealed

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An insight into the percentage chances of Chelsea facing one of European football’s heavyweights in next year’s Champions League Round-of-16 has been provided on Thursday evening.

Blues pegged back

Thomas Tuchel’s side were of course back in action on Thursday night.

Already assured of their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, the Blues made the trip to Russia to take on Zenit St. Petersburg, in the knowledge that they needed simply to match Juventus’ result on the night to secure table-topping status in Group H.

When all was said and done, however, Chelsea came up short in their efforts to do precisely that.

Upon Timo Werner guiding them into a 3-2 lead ten minutes from time, the European champions appeared well on their way to a 5th victory of the group stage campaign.

But, right at the death, there was a twist in the tale.

After the ball dropped to the edge of the area, Magomed Ozdoyev lashed a stunning effort into the roof of the net, securing a share of the spoils for Zenit in the process:

Juventus, meanwhile, sauntered to a 1-0 downing of Malmo in their own final day outing, ensuring that the Bianconeri, and not Chelsea, topped the Group H table.

Real Madrid lie in wait?

And, as alluded to above, 24 hours on, an insight into just how costly the Blues’ last-gasp slip-up could yet prove has been provided.

Of course, their final day drop to 2nd means that Chelsea will enter the Champions League Last-16 draw on the tougher side of things, primed to face off against the winner of another group.

With Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City having made up three such group winners, but also plying their trade in the Premier League, Thomas Tuchel’s troops are left with just four potential opponents in the knockout phase:

  • Bayern Munich
  • Real Madrid
  • Ajax
  • LOSC Lille

Which of these clubs, statistically, though, marks Chelsea’s most likely opponent?

Well, an insight into precisely that has now been provided.

As per renowned statistician Mister Chip, amid a detailed breakdown of the precise percentage chances of every possible Last-16 tie, the current Champions League holders’ most likely test in the next round comes in the form of a showdown with former boss Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.

Such a tie, the most probable of all in the first knockout phase, comes in at a hefty 32.3%.

The Blues’ next likeliest opponents are Lille (25%), followed by Bayern and Ajax (both 21%).

 

 

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