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Champions League permutations: What is still left to be decided during final round of group stage fixtures?

·4-min read
Champions League permutations: What is still left to be decided during final round of group stage fixtures?

The Champions League group stage reaches a climax over the next two nights.

There is plenty still to be decided across the continent in Europe’s elite club competition as teams battle to book their spots in the last 16.

While a number of teams have already guaranteed a place in the first knockout round, they will be eager to secure top spot in their respective groups and, in theory, an easier passage hopefully to the quarter-finals.

Here, Standard Sport looks at all the permutations ahead of the final round of group stage fixtures...

Group A

Paris Saint-Germain vs Club Brugge

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City

Manchester City already secured top billing in Group A courtesy of their comeback win over PSG at the Etihad a fortnight ago.

The French giants are guaranteed the runners-up place, but the battle is on between Leipzig and Brugge to see who will drop into the Europa League in the New Year.

Leipzig currently sit third and will head into the Europa League if they beat City, while a draw would be enough if Club Brugge don’t beat PSG.

Defeats for both would obviously see Leipzig finish third, while Brugge need to beat or draw with PSG and hope that City see off Leipzig in Germany.

Group B

AC Milan vs Liverpool

FC Porto vs Atletico Madrid

Like domestic title rivals City, Liverpool are already through to the last 16 as group winners - but all three of the other teams here can still hope to reach the last 16.

Porto are in the driving seat and will go through with a win at home to Atletico tonight, while a draw will be enough if Milan don’t beat a Liverpool team that will heavily rotate their starting XI with first place guaranteed and a busy festive schedule ahead.

Atletico, meanwhile, need to beat Porto and hope that Milan do not knock off Liverpool, while Milan will be in the last 16 if they win and Porto and Atletico play out a draw at the Estadio do Dragao.

Group C

Ajax vs Sporting CP

Borussia Dortmund vs Besiktas

Group C is very simple - everything is already decided. Ajax cannot be leapfrogged at the summit and Sporting CP are assured of second place.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund will finish third and head into the Europa League, with Besiktas guaranteed to end the campaign rock bottom.

Group D

Real Madrid vs Inter Milan

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sheriff Tiraspol

Real Madrid have already booked their place in the last 16 and will go through as group winners - so long as they don’t lose to Inter Milan at the Bernabeu tonight.

Inter would jump above Los Blancos with a victory, while Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol are already guaranteed third. Shakhtar cannot move out of fourth spot.

Group E

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

Benfica vs Dynamo Kiev

Bayern Munich have wrapped up top spot in Group E and will be joined in the last 16 by Barcelona - as long as the Catalans don’t lose to Bayern and Benfica overcome Dynamo Kiev.

If Benfica win and Barca don’t, then it’s the ignominy of the Europa League for Xavi and Co at Camp Nou.

Dynamo Kiev, like fellow Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar, will finish bottom of the group.

Group F

Manchester United vs Young Boys

Atalanta vs Villarreal

Manchester United’s head-to-head record against Villarreal means they are assured of first place in Group F.

Villarreal need to win or draw against Atalanta to go through, while Atalanta will progress if they win at El Madrigal on Wednesday.

If Atalanta are beaten and Young Boys manage to win at Old Trafford, then the Swiss outfit will take third spot.

Group G

Wolfsburg vs Lille

Salzburg vs Sevilla

It’s all to play for in Group G!

Lille currently sit top by a single point and will hold onto that place if they win at Wolfsburg or if they draw in Germany and Salzburg do not beat Sevilla.

Salzburg will finish top if they win and Lille do not, while a draw will be enough to see them through.

Sevilla will be through with a victory and can win the group if Lille are beaten, while Wolfsburg will also be through with a win. If that happens and Salzburg and Sevilla play out a draw, then Wolfsburg will top the group having started the final gameweek sitting fourth.

Group H

Zenit vs Chelsea

Juventus vs Malmo

Chelsea are already through after their demolition of Juventus at Stamford Bridge and will seal top spot if they beat Zenit, or if they draw in Russia and Juve fail to beat Malmo.

Thomas Tuchel’s holders can afford to lose to Zenit if Juventus lose to Malmo.

Juve are also through and will top the group if they win and Chelsea don’t, or if they draw and Chelsea are beaten by Zenit.

Zenit will finish third, while Malmo are guaranteed to finish bottom.

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