CL draw system increases Group of Death chance

The Champions League draw pots for this evening are based on the UEFA coefficients for clubs at the end of last season. Those coefficients are based on a five year performance in European competition. In general, this system works reasonably well for teams which always participate in the Champions League or Europa League. The top three are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich for example. The problem comes with clubs who have not always been present in the previous five years. Using the Euro Club Index as an alternative, we can identify teams who have been misclassified in this year’s draw.

The advantage of the Euro Club Index, the only ranking of all of Europe’s top flight teams, is that it takes all matches into account and not just those in Europe. It therefore produces a more accurate ranking of clubs than a system using only a small part of the data available. Having said that, UEFA’s pots 1 and 4 for this evening’s draws are actually relatively accurate and it is pots 2 and 3 where most teams are misclassified, particularly pot 2. This can have repercussions for some teams when the draw is made. We only have to look back two years for an example of what can happen. Group D that year contained Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax. Real, Dortmund and City should all have been classified in pot 1 according to Euro Club Index rankings at the time but City were in pot 2 and Dortmund, due to lack of European participation, were in the group of lowest ranked teams in the competition, in pot 4. This situation has still not been corrected for Manchester City two years later as they should be in the top seeded pot this time around too but lower ranked Benfica are there instead. Borussia Dortmund are ranked ninth in the Euro Club Index currently and thus correctly classified.  However, this is only due to Arsenal overtaking them in the Euro Club Index last night with their 1-0 win against Besiktas.

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1 Response to CL draw system increases Group of Death chance

  1. Pingback: Europa League second favourites in pot 3 | Scoreboard Journalism

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