It’s 50/50 that this season will see a team crowned champions of Europe for the first time after Manchester City and Atletico Madrid reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Should either outfit – currently rated 13/2 and 17/5 in the outright betting respectively – go on to lift the trophy better known as ‘Old Big Ears’, they would become only the second maiden European champions of the millennium.
Luckily for them, the 2015/16 campaign has plenty in common with the most recent seasons in which the completion was claimed by first-time victors.
The Champions League era has seen just three clubs named kings of the continent for the first time in their history in its 23 campaigns to date.
It’s a far cry from the days of the European Cup, which saw a side savouring the glory of its conquest for the first time in 19 of 37 renewals.
Those 19 preceding maiden titlists partially explain this downward trend in new names on the trophy in the post-1991 era.
However, the numbers do little to dispel the impression that it has become harder to break into the European elite during the last 24 years.
So far, so bad, for City and Atleti, but the 2015/16 campaign does, at least, have three factors in common with the few Champions League tournaments to be won by a side who had never claimed the honour before.
Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, the only first-time European bosses of the competition’s modern era, each accrued between 11 and 13 group-stage points – the Citizens claimed 12, while the Mattress Makers took 13.
Meanwhile, the presence of giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the last four draw echoes the stacked semi-final setups in evidence when the Stamford Bridge side and Borussia Dortmund added their names to the honour roll.
Barcelona, Bayern and Real went into the hat with the Stamford Bridge side in 2011/12, while Die Schwarzgelben prevailed out of a pool including Juventus, Ajax and Manchester United in 1996/97.