Posted: 15:44 GMT, 2. December 2020 | Updated: 3:46 PM GMT, Jan.. December 2020
There is a lot of driving in the Champions League games on Wednesday evening, and three other clubs can secure their place in the knockout round.
Half of the teams have already secured their spots in the last 16 and Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Lazio could claim a win tonight on Matchday five.
So what are the permutations for each of the eight groups in today’s game and next week’s games?. . . and in some cases, why might it be better to avoid taking the top spot and flop for second place instead?
Bayern are one of the teams that are through, but there is still a lot to play in some groups.
It may not come as a surprise that the European champions Bayern have already booked their place in the knockout round as group winners, but there is still everything to play between Atletico Madrid and Salzburg while Lokomotiv Moscow cannot make it.
So it’s a big game that Atletico is traveling to Austria to play against Salzburg. If they avoid defeat they will get away and if they lose they will move up to the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Salzburg will pull through if they beat Atletico, finish third if they draw and Lokomotiv won’t beat Bayern.
Schedule – 9. December: Real Madrid (7) against Borussia Mönchengladbach (8), Inter (5) against Shakhtar (7)
It looks very precarious for two big clubs in Real Madrid and Inter Milan. Both sway on the edge and have the chance on their last game day on 9. December to be canceled.
Real host group leader Borussia Mönchengladbach, and they will come through if they win or if they draw and defeat Inter Shakhtar. Here, however, it gets a little more complicated. . . They’ll win the group if they win and Shakhtar doesn’t. . . But they could also finish fourth if she and Shakhtar both lose. Everything to play with.
Meanwhile, Inter will come through if they win against Shakhtar and Madrid lose to Mönchengladbach. However, if they don’t win that is a guaranteed fourth place and Antonio Conte is very much at risk of losing his job.
Real Madrid are about to be eliminated from the Champions League after their last defeat
It’s very easy in Group C, where Manchester City are guaranteed to come through as the winners while Porto come through as second.
Before the last round of the game, only one place in the Europa League between Olympiacos and Marseille needs to be played. Essentially, the Greek side will make it as long as Marseille don’t score more points than they do because of the head-to-head superiority. Easy!
Man City drew in Porto just yesterday, but they are still through as Group C winners
There are already quite a few in Group D, with Liverpool being safe and healthy as the winner of the four. It is then a direct shootout between Ajax and Atalanta, who play against each other in Amsterdam in a delicious duel.
If Ajax wins, they’ll take second place. . . If Atalanta wins, it’s theirs. However, it is an advantage for Atalanta as a draw gives them a point ahead of the game. Unfortunately, Midtjylland cannot get off the ground.
Liverpool won their group but it’s all to play among them between Ajax and Atalanta.
Let’s get to the groups in which there are two game rounds left tonight and next Tuesday. Some excellent symmetry here too, with Krasnodar and Rennes both on one point and Sevilla and Chelsea both on 10.
Both latter teams have two games ahead of them, and it’s essentially a straight shootout for the top spot. This is where things get interesting. The results in other groups have shown that a few top teams may not win their groups. Hence, there is a school of thought that these sites may not really want to attract their group.
Take group B for example. . . . There is a possibility that Borussia Mönchengladbach will be at the top of the table and Real Madrid or Inter Milan will end up in second place. A team like Chelsea would definitely rather face the Germans than face the traditional giants on the other side of the draw. It will be fascinating to see what happens next.
There is an argument that Chelsea might be better second in their group
Oh man, that’s another big one. Dortmund face Lazio tonight, one point ahead of their rivals, and know they can get away with avoiding defeat. Regardless of the results in their game, they can continue even if Club Bruges do not defeat Zenit.
For the Germans, however, all eyes will be on victory, and if they make it, they will be guaranteed the top spot. In the meantime, if they beat Dortmund (and then all eyes are on them!), Lazio will come through if Club Bruges lose to Zenit.
Essentially, Bruges have to hope that they win and Lazio lose, and then the last day of the match counts. It’s also all to play in relation to the Europa League spot won for third place.
Another easy loss in Group G after the first four games. As expected, both Barcelona and Juventus are safely packing their bags and heading for the knockout stage, while Ferencvaros and Dynamo Kiev are left for the Europa League.
Barcelona can secure the top spot if they fail to win against Ferencvaros and Juve against Dynamo tonight or if they draw and Juve lose.
Third place cannot be decided tonight and will instead be awarded until the last day next Tuesday.
For Ronald Koeman in LaLiga it was far from easy to sail, but Barcelona flies in Europe
There’s still a lot to do in a fascinating Group H but Manchester United will be very happy to know that if they win tonight they can avoid all sorts of dramas. A win against PSG at Old Trafford and the fact that Leipzig failed to score high points in Turkey would secure them first place. Even if United draws and Leipzig loses, that’s enough too.
Istanbul Basaksehir cannot go without a win tonight and there could be a very interesting situation if Istanbul beat Leipzig and United PSG.
That would mean United on 12. far ahead, the other three teams all have six points and would fight for a place in the last 16 on the last matchday next Tuesday.
A win for United tonight would be huge and secure their promotion to the last 16.
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UEFA Champions League, Juventus F. . C.. . , Manchester United F. . C.. . , FC Dynamo Kiev, SS Lazio, Borussia Dortmund
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