Champions League: Who needs what in matchday six?
The group stage of the 2018/19 Champions League comes to an end this week, so we reveal what’s left to play for across all eight sections ahead of the action on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Borussia Dortmund’s failure to beat Club Brugge last time out means Atletico Madrid are in pole position to advance from Group A in top spot, although BVB are already assured of a place in the last 16. Diego Simeone’s side will win the group if they beat Club Brugge – the Belgians have already wrapped up third – or if Dortmund fail to overcome Monaco, who are guaranteed to finish bottom.
A 1-0 victory over Inter at the end of last month means Tottenham Hotspur’s fate is in their own hands ahead of the final gameweek. Spurs face an already qualified Barcelona side knowing that they too will progress if they match or better Inter’s result against PSV, who are bottom of the group with a single point.
Group CGroup C is the tightest of the lot, with all four teams having something to play for in matchday six. Paris Saint-Germain are currently second but will make sure of their place in the round of 16 with victory over Red Star Belgrade, who need to win to have any chance of third spot and a Europa League berth. Liverpool, meanwhile, must beat Napoli by two clear goals to advance, although any triumph would do if PSG slip up in Serbia.
Four wins and a draw from their first five games means Porto have qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League for the third consecutive campaign. Schalke will join them in the last 16 but can no longer advance as group winners, while Galatasaray – who host Porto this week – have a one-point lead over Lokomotiv Moscow in the race for third.
The Johan Cruyff Arena will play host to a winners-take-all clash on Wednesday, with Ajax requiring victory to climb above Bayern Munich at the top of Group E. Both teams have already qualified for the round of 16, while Benfica are guaranteed a Europa League place even if they lose at home to AEK Athens, who are yet to earn a point.
Manchester City failed to beat Lyon for the second this season when the two sides locked horns a fortnight ago, but a 2-2 draw in France means they only need a draw at home to Hoffenheim to go through as Group F winners. Lyon will progress if they avoid defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk, but a win for the Ukrainians would send them through instead. To have any chance of a Europa League spot, Hoffenheim must win at the Etihad Stadium and hope Shakhtar slip up in Kharviv.
Real Madrid have endured a difficult start to the 2018/19 season domestically, but they have been dominant in Group G aside from a shock 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in October. The reigning European champions have already wrapped up top spot and Roma are sure of second; below the qualification line, Viktoria Plzen and CSKA are locked together on four points but it is the former who will move into the Europa League if they finish level on points thanks to a superior head-to-head record.
A win against Young Boys would guarantee top spot for Juventus in Group H, although a draw is likely to be enough. Manchester United have already qualified for the round of 16 but must beat Valencia to have any chance of finishing in first place, with the Spaniards already certain to finish third.
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