ANALYSE THIS: ECI says D as in ‘Death’, E as in ‘Easy’

FOOTBALL – The Euro Club Index ( rates all teams in top flight football in Europe and today has proved an invaluable guide to assess the 2013/2014 Champions League group stage draw. It points out the Group of Death, the teams facing strongest/weakest opposition and also the teams that were most fortunate/unfortunate in the draw.  

The Euro Club Index has pointed towards Group D being the toughest group, the proverbial ‘Group of Death’, as its members boast an average ECI rating of 3331, whereas the teams in Group E bring up the rear with an average rating of 2933.

Average rating for each 2013/2014 Champions League group


Celtic will face on average the strongest opponents. Their Group H foes FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax have an average Euro Club Index rating of 3480.

Highest average ECI rating of CL 2013/2014 group opponents


Chelsea will face the softest opposition in this group stage according to the Euro Club Index. Their opponents, Schalke 04, FC Basel and Steaua Bucuresti, represent an average 2747 rating.

Lowest average ECI rating of CL 2013/2014 group opponents


Steaua Bucuresti were percentage-wise the most fortunate team in this draw. The lowest average of rating points combined for their opponents could have been 2916. In fact, it is 3030. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain also enjoyed relatively favourable draws. 

Most favourable draw – percentage of easiest scenario possible


The most unfavourable draw fell to CSKA Moskva. Their worst case scenario was facing opponents with a combined 3589 rating. As it turned out, their opponents average 3444 points. Champions Bayern München are second among the 32 teams.

Most unfavourable draw – percentage of hardest scenario possible


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