The Champions League's second leg

March, 13, 2012

The second leg of the Champions League knockout round continues Tuesday, so let's take a look at each team's chances of advancing to the quarterfinals. Using ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) we calculated the offensive, defensive and overall rating of each team and used those to simulate each matchup 10,000 times. Here's a look at the four matches this week.

Bayern Munich vs. FC Basel
(Basel leads 1-0)

Projections for advancing: Bayern Munich 57.3 pct.; Basel 42.7 pct.

Despite trailing going into the second leg, Bayern is still the favorite thanks to its offensive rating, as SPI projects the German side to score an average of 2.3 goals in this match. Bayern is very tough at home, winning seven straight and 16 of its last 17 in all competitions, while allowing just seven goals. Bayern has also won 11 of their last 12 Champions League matches at home. Basel, the first Swiss club to reach the Champions League knockout stage, has won three consecutive Swiss League matches since the first leg.

Inter Milan vs. Marseille
(Marseille leads 1-0)

Projections for advancing: Inter 20.0 pct; Marseille 80.0 pct.

Marseille, looking for its first quarterfinal appearance since 2000, went into the first leg on a 15-match unbeaten streak dating back to November. Things have gone downhill since their 1-0 victory over Inter, however, as Marseille has lost four consecutive Ligue 1 matches, and been held scoreless in each. Inter is on a similar cold streak, going winless in nine consecutive matches until defeating Chievo on Friday.

Despite coming home facing only a one goal deficit, SPI gives Inter just a 20 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals. Though the two teams have similar offensive ratings, Inter's defensive rating is below average for a European club, and SPI projects the Italian side to allow an average of 1.5 goals per match. As a result, Marseille is projected to score in over 73 percent of the match predictions. Just one goal for Marseille means Inter needs three or more to advance, which SPI projects in just 14.3 percent of match predictions.

Chelsea vs. Napoli
(Napoli leads 3-1)

Projections for advancing: Chelsea 20.3 pct; Napoli 79.7 pct.

These two sides are rated nearly evenly by SPI, so Napoli's two-goal lead going into the second leg gives them a big advantage. Though SPI gives Chelsea the advantage in the second leg as the home side, the Blues have struggled at Stamford Bridge in European play recently, as they are winless in their last five Champions League knockout matches at home. Napoli, looking for its first ever quarterfinal appearance, has never lost a UEFA match when winning the first leg by two or more goals. If Chelsea cannot overcome the deficit, it will be the first year since 1995-96 without an English club in the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow
(Tied 1-1)

Projections for advancing: Real Madrid 91.7 pct; CSKA Moscow 8.3 pct.

As the highest rated team in Europe according to SPI, Madrid is the overwhelming favorite going into the second leg. In fact, according to SPI, CSKA's late equalizer in the first leg increased its odds of advancing by less than six percent. SPI projects Madrid to score 3.1 goals on average in this match, while CSKA is held scoreless in over half (55.4 percent) of the match predictions. Madrid has been eliminated in this round in six of last seven seasons, while CSKA is looking for its second quarterfinal appearance in the last three seasons.



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