How likely are teams to advance in the Champions League based on their halfway points?

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The UEFA Champions League group stage is halfway through, and some teams are already celebrating their qualification to the knockout rounds, while others are facing the risk of elimination. But how likely are teams to progress based on their points tally after three matches? reveals some surprising statistics and historical trends.

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Nine points: a safe bet

Teams that have won all three of their group games can rest assured that they have secured a spot in the last 16. Since the current format was introduced in 2003/04, no team with nine points at the halfway stage has ever failed to advance. In fact, only two teams have ever finished third with nine points in the entire history of the Champions League: Napoli in 2013/14 and Dynamo Kyiv in 1999/2000.

Seven points: not a guarantee

Teams that have seven points after three games might feel confident, but they should not be complacent. Four teams have reached the halfway stage with seven points since 2003/04 and failed to reach the knockout rounds: Porto (2015/16), Rangers (2007/08), Marseille (2007/08) and CSKA Moskva (2006/07). It serves as a reminder that teams must remain focused and maintain their form until the very end of the group stage.

Four points: a coin toss

Teams that have four points at the halfway mark have a roughly 50/50 chance of progressing to the last 16. Out of 108 teams that had four points after three games since 2003/04, 54 made it through and 54 did not. The most recent examples of teams that turned around their fortunes with four points were Atalanta and Atlético Madrid in 2019/20, who both reached the quarter-finals.

One or zero points: a long shot

Teams that have one or zero points after three games face a daunting challenge to qualify for the knockout rounds. Only four teams have ever achieved this feat since 2003/04: Roma (2015/16), Galatasaray (2013/14), Olympiacos (2013/14) and Lokomotiv Moskva (2003/04). All of them had one point at the halfway stage, except for Galatasaray, who had zero. The Turkish side managed to win their last three games and finish second in their group.

The beacon of hope: Atalanta’s remarkable turnaround

Despite finding themselves without a win after the halfway stage, Atalanta’s impressive journey to the quarter-finals in the 2019/20 season serves as a beacon of hope for other struggling clubs. Out of the 54 teams in a similar position, only Atalanta managed to climb out of the abyss. Their resilience and determination proved that it’s never too late to turn things around in the Champions League.

Defying the odds: Liverpool and Tottenham’s heroic runs

Liverpool and Tottenham have shown that early setbacks don’t define a team’s destiny in the Champions League. In the 2007/08 season, Liverpool reached the semi-finals despite failing to win any of their first three games. Tottenham went even further in 2018/19, defying expectations by making it all the way to the final. Their impressive runs demonstrate the importance of perseverance and belief in the face of adversity.

As the UEFA Champions League group stage reaches its halfway mark, teams without a win shouldn’t lose hope. Atalanta’s remarkable turnaround and the heroic runs of Liverpool and Tottenham prove that anything is possible in this prestigious competition. However, teams with a promising start must also remain vigilant, as history has shown that a comfortable position can quickly turn into disappointment. The Champions League is a test of resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in the face of adversity.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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