Who needs what in the Champions League?

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November 5, 2021
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    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his playersManchester United appear to have the most work to do of the three English clubs yet to qualify

    Liverpool and Ajax each qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League on Wednesday with two group games to spare.

    They join Juventus and Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the competition, while the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain also look well-placed to qualify.

    However, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are among a number of clubs with work still to do.

    Here is the state of play going into the last two rounds of group matches.

    Who is through to the knockout stage?

    Qualifiers: Liverpool, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Juventus

    Out: Besiktas, RB Leipzig, Malmo

    Who still has something to play for?

    Group A: Manchester City, Paris St-Germain, Club Bruges

    Group B: Porto, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan

    Group C: Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon

    Group D: Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Sheriff Tiraspol, Shakhtar Donetsk

    Group E: Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv

    Group F: Manchester United, Villarreal, Atalanta, Young Boys

    Group G: RB Salzburg, Lille, Wolfsburg, Sevilla

    Group H: Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg

    What do sides need to do to qualify?

    Manchester City or Paris St-Germain to seal top spot?

    Group A

    Wednesday, 24 November – Club Bruges v RB Leipzig and Manchester City v Paris St-Germain (Both 20:00 GMT)

    Manchester City will qualify with one game to spare if they beat Paris St-Germain in their next Champions League fixture. A draw would also see both sides progress if Club Bruges fail to win against RB Leipzig.

    Falling in behind the Reds

    Group B

    Wednesday, 24 November – Atletico Madrid v AC Milan and Liverpool v Porto (Both 20:00 GMT)

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    Porto could advance with Liverpool if they beat Jurgen Klopp's side on Merseyside and AC Milan also win against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.

    If Liverpool and AC Milan both win in the penultimate round of fixtures it would leave Porto needing to win at home against Atletico in their final group match to qualify.

    Borussia Dortmund and Sporting Lisbon to fight it out

    Group C

    Wednesday, 24 November – Besiktas v Ajax (17:45 GMT) and Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund (20:00 GMT)

    With Ajax already through, the final qualification spot could rest on the result of Borussia Dortmund's trip to Sporting Lisbon.

    A victory for Dortmund would see them progress regardless of results in the final round of matches by virtue of their better head-to-head record against the Portuguese club.

    The same would also apply if Sporting win by more than one goal, the margin of their defeat in the reverse fixture in Germany.

    A draw would leave Dortmund seemingly the better placed going into their final group game which is at home to Besiktas, with Sporting travelling to Amsterdam.

    Real in pole position

    Group D

    Wednesday, 24 November – Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk (17:45 GMT), Sheriff Tiraspol v Real Madrid (20:00 GMT)

    Victories for Inter Milan and Real Madrid would see both European giants go through before their meeting at the Bernabeu on 7 December, which would then simply decide which club finished top of Group D.

    However, if Moldovan champions Tiraspol were to complete a remarkable double over Real, they would move above Carlo Ancelotti's side by virtue of their record against the Spanish club.

    Barca to join Bayern?

    Group E

    Tuesday, 23 November – Dynamo Kyiv v Bayern Munich (17:45 GMT) and Barcelona v Benfica (20:00 GMT)

    A Barcelona victory over Benfica would see them progress alongside Bayern Munich. The Catalan side will be looking to get the job done at the Nou Camp prior to a trip to Germany in their final match.

    A Benfica win would leave them in pole position to qualify with a home game against Dynamo Kyiv to follow.

    Man Utd in battle to qualify

    Group F

    Tuesday, 23 November – Villarreal v Manchester United (17:45 GMT) and Young Boys v Atalanta (20:00 GMT)

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    Manchester United travel to Villarreal knowing that a win will see them into the knockout stage, having already beaten the Spanish side at Old Trafford.

    If Unai Emery's side were to win that encounter it may leave the English club needing to beat Young Boys in their final Group F game to give them a chance of qualifying depending on Atalanta's results.

    A four-way battle

    Group G

    Tuesday, 23 November – Lille v RB Salzburg and Sevilla v Wolfsburg (both 20:00 GMT)

    Austrian side RB Salzburg will progress to the knockout stage with a win over Lille. However, this group remains wide open with all four teams able to qualify.

    Chelsea close to securing qualification

    Group H

    Tuesday, 23 November – Chelsea v Juventus and Malmo v Zenit St Petersburg (both 20:00 GMT)

    Reigning champions Chelsea will confirm their qualification for the last 16 with a draw regardless of the outcome of Zenit St Petersburg's trip to Sweden.

    If Thomas Tuchel's side were to lose against the Italians, they would need to avoid defeat in the final group game in Russia to go through.


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    November 5, 2021
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