Just eight remain in the Champions League. After Friday’s draw for the quarter- and semi-finals, we look at how the pairings impacted every team’s chances of going all the way.

Friday’s draw for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals probably couldn’t have produced a better slate of ties even if someone had specifically hand-picked them.

There was always likely to be plenty of intrigue regardless of the pairings when you consider the standard of the teams left, but three of the four last-eight ties are absolutely drenched in narrative.

First out of the hat – well, transparent bowls – was Arsenal vs Bayern Munich. It had to be, really; the Gunners thought they’d finally managed to get away from Harry Kane, but now he could be the one to deny them a first Champions League semi-final since 2008-09.

After all, Kane has scored 14 times against Arsenal for Spurs, a total he only bettered in games with Leicester City (19) and Everton (16). It’s also worth noting that three of Arsenal’s four heaviest defeats in European competition have been to Bayern (all 5-1), most recently in March 2017.

Arsenal vs Bayern Champions League xG race

Atlético Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund was the second tie to be drawn. Granted, perhaps not a duel steeped in storylines like the others, but on paper it looks a well-matched tie that could provide plenty of twists and turns. Also, neither side has reached the semis since Diego Simeone’s men did in 2016-17.

The third tie, and arguably most gripping of all, was Real Madrid vs Manchester City. The 14-time record European champions against the reigning European champions; Pep Guardiola reacquainting himself with old rivals; Jude Bellingham back in England. It also puts a significant spanner in the works of City’s bid for back-to-back trebles.

Last, and by no means least, was Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona. Although this has become something of a rivalry in the boardroom, the recent history of this tie on the pitch has also been fraught with drama.

PSG and Barcelona have played out some fascinating ties over the past decade, though none more so than their 2016-17 last-16 duel, when the Parisians took a 4-0 first-leg lead to Catalonia before succumbing to a 6-1 demolition, with Barca’s three goals from the 88th minute onwards capping arguably the most remarkable turnaround in Champions League history.

Barcelona vs PSG xG race Champions League

PSG or Barca will face Atlético or Dortmund in the semis, while Arsenal or Bayern await Madrid or City.

As such, the make-up of the ties and the confirmed routes to the final have understandably had a sizeable impact on the Opta supercomputer’s projections compared to immediately before Friday’s draw.

Champions League prediction chances Opta

Manchester City and Real Madrid are the biggest losers here, as you might expect. Both teams probably got the toughest draws possible, and so that’s been reflected in their chances of lifting the trophy. Guardiola’s men have seen their success likelihood decrease by 3.02 percentage points as a result of Friday’s draw; Madrid’s has gone down by 3.94%. That means they’re no longer the second favourites.

PSG have replaced Madrid as the biggest threat to City, according to the supercomputer. Barcelona should still provide stern opposition, but they’ve landed in the side of the draw that avoids the defending champions, Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern.

So, with their chances of winning a first Champions League title improving by 4.19%, PSG are the comfortably the biggest winners from Friday’s draw.

Dortmund have seen the next greatest increase to their chances, which went up by 2.12% as a result of being paired with Atlético on the slightly more favourable side of the draw. In fact, all four teams on that side of the draw have seen their probability of success improve according to the projection model, with Barcelona (+1.21%) and Atlético (+1.83%) also seemingly better off than they were before the quarter-final draw.

Arsenal and Bayern, however, are worse off. The soon-to-be-dethroned German champions’ probability of winning the competition dropped by 1.4%, while the Gunners – who’ve never won the Champions League – have seen a reduction of 0.99 percentage points. In fact, Arsenal have played more matches in the competition without winning it than any other side.

Most games played without winning UCL

While all these percentage differences may appear small, when considered as proportions of their previous totals, they’re actually pretty significant. For instance, PSG’s increase of 4.19 percentage points equates to roughly a third of their previous total (11.96%), meaning they’re now about 33% more likely to win the Champions League than they were before the quarter-final draw.

Talk about luck of the draw.

Who Will Win the Champions League 2023-24?

They may have gotten the toughest draw, but Man City do remain the favourites to win the Champions League according to the Opta supercomputer, and still by a considerable margin.

In 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season, Guardiola’s men become the first English club to defend their European crown since Nottingham Forest (1980) in 29.46% of scenarios.

Manchester City Champions League trophy

Real Madrid had been second favourites, but landing themselves a date with the heavy favourites and in the tougher side of the draw has understandably done some damage.

Now with a 13.05% likelihood of going all the way, Madrid are considered the third favourites by the supercomputer, with PSG’s gains enough to leapfrog Los Blancos in the running.

PSG won the title in 16.15% of the 10,000 season simulations after the draw, though their numbers have increased considerably across the board in terms of projections. Before Friday, they had a 25.08% chance of reaching the final; now, that’s up to 38.93% and only marginally shy of City’s 42.88%.

Arsenal round off the top four in terms of favourites according to the supercomputer, sealing their maiden Champions League crown in 10.92% of the simulations; the other four teams all fall shy of the 10% threshold.

Atlético are still considered the rank outsiders at 6.05% despite their fortunes improving because of the draw, with Barcelona (7.11%) just above them.

Bundesliga pair Dortmund (7.89%) and Bayern (9.39%) sit side by side, though Thomas Tuchel’s side are now considered the least likely of all remaining teams to reach the final (16.37%); BVB (22.55%) are the third likeliest to contest the showpiece after City and PSG.

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