Several sides are on the cusp of qualification for the knockout stages ahead of this week’s continental action
With the Champions League group stages to come to an end this week, a number of teams have set their sights on joining Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the round of 16.
Groups A to D are in action on Tuesday, while the remaining four groups play out matchday six on Wednesday, and several teams are one win away from the next round.
In Group A, Shakhtar Donetsk will book their ticket for the round of 16 with an away win over Manchester United, while a draw will see them through as well if Bayer Leverkusen fail to beat Real Sociedad. Even defeat at Old Trafford could see the Ukrainian champions progress, but only if their German rivals lose in Basque country. For Leverkusen, a win over Sociedad will see them qualify if Donetsk fail to beat United, while a draw will be enough if Shakhtar lose.
Elsewhere, Juventus will be guaranteed Champions League football after the winter break if they win or draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul. Galatasaray, on the other hand, will reach the next round if they bag three points against the Bianconeri.
Olympiakos will qualify from Group C if they do at least as well as Benfica, whereas the Lisbon side will progress if they outperform the Greek champions. The Greeks host basement boys Anderlecht, while Benfica take on already-qualified Paris Saint-Germain.
Furthermore, the winner of the Group E game between Schalke and Basel will qualify for the knockout stages, while even a draw in Gelsenkirchen will suffice for the Swiss side.
In Group F, Borussia Dortmund will reach the next round if they beat Olympique de Marseille, but even a draw could be enough if Napoli fail to defeat Arsenal. Napoli, meanwhile, need to beat the Premier League leaders by three goals in order to be guaranteed Champions League football after Christmas, or hope that Dortmund slip up in France. Arsenal, finally, will qualify with a win, a draw or a defeat by fewer than three goals, while they could even afford a bigger loss if Dortmund don’t pick up all three points in France.
Zenit will make it through from Group G with a win over Austria Vienna, while a draw or defeat could also suffice depending on Porto’s result against Atletico Madrid. Porto‘s only chance of survival is beating the table-topping Rojiblancos and then hope Zenit spill points versus Austria.
Finally, the winner of the match between AC Milan and Ajax at San Siro will qualify, while a draw will also see the Rossoneri through.