Supercomputer predicts Champions League winner with Man Utd more likely than PSG

By Nathan Ridley

A supercomputer has predicted the winner of the 2021-22 Champions League, with Manchester United more likely to win the competition than bookies favourite Paris Saint-Germain.

United are one of four English clubs involved in the tournament, with holders Chelsea, 2019 winners Liverpool and last season's finalists, Manchester City.

PSG have taken top spot at the bookmakers thanks to the signing of Lionel Messi, who will be hoping to lead the French club to their first European Cup after years of heartache.

Premier League sides have made up five of the last eight teams to compete in the final as English dominance begins to take over Europe.

According to FiveThirtyEight's supercomputer, PSG's star-studded forward line of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe gives them a mere four per-cent chance of being European champions in the Russian city of St Petersburg next May.

Instead, Manchester City are who the supercomputer is backing as favourites, having reached their first final earlier this year in which Kai Havertz's goal handed Chelsea their second title.

Pep Guardiola's side got the better of PSG at last season's semi-final stage before the showdown in Porto.

Thomas Tuchel and co have been given a 10 per-cent chance of retaining their crown, with 2020 victors Bayern Munich separating them and City.

Liverpool and Manchester United have a nine and five per-cent chance of becoming continental kings, respectively.

The prediction, however, was made before Cristiano Ronaldo sensationally returned to Old Trafford late in the summer transfer window.

Ronaldo has won the competition a record five times, with his first and the Red Devils' last coming in 2008 and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner recently revealed what his new team will need to do in order to win the Champions League.

"As I told you before, we have huge potential," the No.7 told club media. "We have fantastic players, a good coach, a good team. We need to build up the mentality to win the Premier League and even the Champions League.

Ronaldo scored in the final the last time Man Utd won the Champions League (Man Utd via Getty Images)

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"So I am here to help the team. I think we have the 11 that are playing and those on the bench that can help as well. We have a good team, as I told you, and the spirit is there."

United begin their campaign away to Swiss outfit BSC Young Boys on Tuesday before facing Atalanta at home and then welcoming Villarreal, who beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side on penalties in last season's Europa League final.

The full list of the supercomputer's Champions League winners prediction:

  1. Manchester City - 16% (chance of winning)
  2. Bayern Munich - 11%
  3. Chelsea - 10%
  4. Liverpool - 9%
  5. Barcelona - 8%
  6. Real Madrid - 6%
  7. Manchester United - 5%
  8. Ajax - 5%
  9. RB Leipzig - 4%
  10. Paris Saint-Germain - 4%
  11. Borussia Dortmund - 4%
  12. Atletico Madrid - 4%
  13. Inter Milan - 4%
  14. Juventus - 2%
  15. Sevilla - 2%
  16. Atalanta - 1%
  17. FC Salzburg - 1%
  18. Wolfsburg - <1%
  19. Benfica - <1%
  20. FC Porto - <1%
  21. Villarreal - <1%
  22. AC Milan - <1%
  23. Sporting CP - <1%
  24. Zenit St. Petersburg - <1%
  25. Lille - <1%
  26. Shakhtar Donetsk - <1%
  27. BSC Young Boys - <1%
  28. Club Brugge - <1%
  29. Besiktas - <1%
  30. Dynamo Kyiv - <1%
  31. Malmo - <1%
  32. Sheriff Tiraspol - <1%

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