Barcelona's Champions League odds

Barcelona is the favorite, but don't count out its La Liga rival

Updated: March 17, 2011, 6:45 PM ET
By Albert Larcada | ESPN Stats and Information
Lionel MessiVladimir Rys/Getty ImagesLionel Messi and Barcelona are the favorites to win the Champions League title.

Last week we took a look at how ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) simulations see the remainder of the big four European domestic leagues playing out. This week we will turn our attention to the Champions League and the upcoming draw to determine the best and worst matchups for each of the eight quarterfinalists.

Before we begin breaking down the possibilities, it is interesting to note the top five overall clubs in SPI are still alive in Champions League play. According to SPI, these squads -- Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan -- are all more than one goal per match better than an average big-four opponent. The only other clubs in the big four leagues (EPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga) who fit this profile are Arsenal and Bayern Munich, who were each eliminated by top-five clubs in the previous round. Needless to say there is a lot of quality left in the Champions League field.

Here are the chances of advancing to the semifinals for each remaining team against all possible quarterfinal opponents according to SPI ratings.

Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.