Data Analytics Experts Predict Liverpool to Win… the Europa League?

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​Liverpool look to be on course for a memorable season.

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After ending a seven-year trophy drought by winning the Champions League in June, Liverpool have started 2019/20 very strongly and lead the Premier League by eight points heading into a hectic festive period of fixtures prior to the winter break.

With the UEFA Super Cup already in the bag this season, Jurgen Klopp’s team are still competing for five more trophies in 2019/20.

Most supporters wouldn’t expect the Europa League to be one of those five, but statistical analysis experts ​FiveThirtyEight put the Reds down as favourites to lift Europe’s second club competition.

Jürgen Klopp

The website founded by statistician Nate Silver, which is famed for its prediction of American presidential elections as well as other projects in economics and sports, currently gives ​Liverpool a 14% chance of making the final and 10% chance of winning the tournament overall, higher than next ranked Leverkusen (13%, 8%), Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg and ​Manchester United (13%, 7%).

This is despite the fact that Klopp’s side are, obviously, not in the Europa League and are competing in the Champions League.

However, Liverpool could drop down to the Europa League if they fail to get at least a draw against Salzburg in their crucial final group stage game. Finishing third in the group behind Napoli and the Austrian champions would see the Reds drop into the last 32 of the Europa League, an eventuality the club will be keen to avoid. 

FBL-EUR-C3-DRAW

However, should that happen FiveThirtyEight – whose forecasts are based on data from ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, as well as the Engsoccerdata GitHub repository and Opta – makes them instant favourites for another piece of silverware.

Liverpool made the Europa League final in Klopp’s first season in charge at Anfield in 2016, but lost the final 3-1 to Sevilla. Since then, the club has focussed on qualifying for and being competitive in the Champions League, twice making the final.

As far as FiveThirtyEight’s predictions for the Champions League go, Liverpool are still ranked third most likely to retain their title (with a 9% win rating), behind Manchester City (24%) and Bayern Munich (20%).

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