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01st Oct 2021

Barcelona now most likely team to win Europa League, according to science

Callum Boyle

They’ve not even been knocked out of the Champions League yet

Barcelona’s fall from grace has been astonishing to say the least, and it doesn’t look the days are going to get better any time soon, or so at least the science says.

Their sorry state of affairs was essentially summed up by a 3-0 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League during the week with the Catalan side barely even putting up a fight as they were comfortably beaten in Portugal.

It leaves Ronald Koeman’s side rock bottom of Group E with no points from two games and with repeat fixtures against Benfica and Bayern Munich, as well as two clashes against Dynamo Kiev to come, the odds are stacked firmly against them to qualify for the knockout stages.

So much so, over at Five Thirty Eight, the famous super computer has installed Barca as the favourites to win this year’s Europa League. Talk about confidence.

It seems like nobody has any faith in them whatsoever anymore, at least in the Champions league anyway. The computer has the Blaugrana ranked at a 9% chance of Europa League glory this season, with sides such as Napoli, West Ham United and Bayer Leverkusen – who already play in Europe’s second-tier competition – ranked lower than them.

In previous years, it would have been unthinkable to even consider Barcelona dropping out of Europe’s elite tournament but the strength of their squad doesn’t reflect what it has been like in the past, with a giant Lionel Messi-shaped void to fill amongst other key areas.

For now though, Barça remain in a steep decline. Koeman’s days looked numbered with many of the fanbase wanting a change in management and the likes of club legend Xavi and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez linked with the job.

The Nou Camp may be an unhappy place at the moment, but if a super computer is anything to go by, there might be something to cheer about at the end of the season.

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