Super computer predicts Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur have barely had time to recover from their weekend heartbreak against West Ham United, but they’ll need to quickly put it behind them and prepare for Europa League action, as reports the Football.london.
Jose Mourinho’s side came through an exhausting qualifying campaign, and their group stage begins with a home match against LASK.
It’s the first time Spurs have embarked on a Europa League group stage campaign since back in 2015/16, when they topped their section and came through one knockout round before falling to Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16.
Mourinho knows what it takes to win the competition, having tasted victory with Manchester United in 2017, but there’s still a long way to go.
First up for Tottenham is a group containing LASK, Ludogorets and Antwerp, but there’s some good news for the London club immediately.
According to respected forecasting site FiveThirtyEight, Spurs’ chances of winning their group are a huge 71%, while the model makes them second favourites to win the competition outright at this early stage.
Only one other club in the Europa League has as high a chance of topping their group, and that’s Arsenal. The FA Cup holders have also been handed a friendly draw, with Rapid Wien, Molde and Dundalk standing in their way.
When we look at the wider forecast for the competition, though, we can see two things: one is that the tournament is anyone’s to win, and the other is that Spurs have as good a chance as pretty much anyone else.
Tottenham are one of 10 teams with an 80% or better chance of making the last 32 of the competition, with their 90% chance of finishing in the top two of their group second only to Arsenal’s 91%.
The Premier League pair are closely followed by Villarreal (90%, but with a lower chance of winning their group), Leicester City and Napoli (both 89%), Real Sociedad (86%), Benfica (85%), Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen (both 84%) and Roma (81%).
The deeper we get into the competition, the healthier Mourinho’s men look, though they’ll need to contend with some potential big-hitters dropping out of the Champions League.
One of Atletico Madrid and Red Bull Salzburg will likely finish third in a group which also includes Bayern Munich, and whichever ends up in the Europa League will be in with a decent chance based on FiveThirtyEight’s model.
The same goes for RB Leipzig – drawn against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in their Champions League group – as well as PSG and United themselves.
All five of the aforementioned Champions League side have a 3% or higher chance of winning this season’s Europa League. It might not sound like a lot, but then you remember there’s no guarantee they’ll even play a minute in the competition.
FiveThirtyEight puts Spurs’ chances of a last-16 spot at 62%, while they’re tipped to make the quarter-finals 37% of the time.
They also have a greater than one in five chance of reaching the semis and a 12% shot of reaching the final in Gdansk next May. Even at this early stage, Spurs have a 6% chance of outlasting the other 47 teams in the group stage (and eight Champions League dropouts) and winning the whole thing.
Napoli are the only team given a greater chance of glory by FiveThirtyEight, with Barcelona the only team to beat the Serie A side in Europe last season, while Real Sociedad and AC Milan join Spurs on 6% to lift the trophy. A reunion between Mourinho and Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the final could be quite the showpiece.