Soccer

Supercomputer backs Man Utd to be exit Europe in quarter final even with Ronaldo

The Champions League group stage returns on Tuesday evening, and some of Europe's heavy hitters are back in action on the continental stage.

However, there has been a seismic shift in the football landscape over the summer.

Lionel Messi left Barcelona after over two decades at the Catalan side to join PSG, while Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United, where he first cut his teeth in the Champions League.

United have also strengthened on the wings with the acquisition of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

And FiveThirtyEight's supercomputer has predicted how the Red Devils will fare in Europe this season with Ronaldo.

United kick off their European campaign on Tuesday evening when they travel to Switzerland to face Young Boys.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been drawn into Group F alongside the Swiss side, Villarreal, and Atalanta.

Despite the tricky draw, the supercomputer has United at 52 per cent to qualify first from the group and then 79 per cent to pass through the round of 16.

But that's where the good news ends for United, with the supercomputer predicting them to bow out of the competition in the quarter-finals.

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The supercomputer has given United a 5 per cent chance of winning the Champions League overall, the same as Ajax and less than financial stricken Barcelona.

Manchester City have been made favourites by the supercomputer, and Pep Guardiola's side have a 21 per cent chance of winning.

City reached the final of the competition last season, but a Kai Havertz goal shattered the dreams of the blue half of Manchester.

However, if City are to win the competition, they will have to overcome the group of death with trips to RB Leipzig, PSG, and Club Brugge on the menu.

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The holders Chelsea have been given an 8 per cent chance to win, and they are the fourth favourites behind Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Unsurprisingly, Champions League debutants Sheriff Tiraspol sit at the bottom of the table with less than a 1% chance to lift the trophy in May.

The Eastern European side are the first team from Moldova to qualify for the tournament since it's rebranding to its modern version.

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