This season of UEFA Champions League reached a crucial phase in Group Stage games after play ended on Match day 5 during November 22-23, 2016. On the last Match Day during December 6-7, fates of 7 teams will be decided. These teams will fight for the last 4 places in the knockout phase because, 12 teams are already through and they will be unaffected by the results of the encounters with their opponents. The teams, which have already progressed to the play-off stage are Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal from Group A; FC Barcelona and Manchester City from Group C; Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich from Group D; Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen from Group E; Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid from Group F; Leicester City from Group G and Juventus from Group H. Of the 7 teams that can still enter the play-offs, 3 are from Group B alone. This has indeed been a Group of death this season and two teams out of Napoli, Benfica and Besiktas will enter the knockout and the eliminated team could really suffer heartbreak of being so close. Nearly a similar situation has arisen in Group H, where Sevilla has 10 points to winner Juventus’ 11 but their place in the play-offs is still under a cloud. Lyon is the team that will pose the challenge to Sevilla on December 7. Porto and Copenhagen from Group G also have their chances to qualify after their matches on the same day.
Of the 32 teams, who played in this season’s UEFA Champions League, 13 have gone out of the reckoning after Match Day 5 on November 22 and 23. While 12 have already qualified for the play-offs, 7 others will fight for the remaining 4 places next Tuesday and Wednesday on Match day 6. For some qualified teams, the battle may be for the top spot in their respective Groups. In Group A, PSG are Group toppers at the moment and they may want to ensure their no.1 place. But if Arsenal could beat Basel by a huge margin on Tuesday and PSG do not do that against Basel, the Gunners could overtake PSG on points. In the uncertain Group B, Napoli will qualify if they manage a draw against Benefica because they have already beaten Benefica on Match Day 2. However, if Besiktas win their match and Napoli and Benefica draw their game, Besiktas will top the Group. But the winner between Napoli and Benefica will end as Group topper. If Besiktas draw their game with Dynamo Kyiv, they can qualify only if Napoli lose to Benefica.
In Group C, everything is already settled. Barcelona are the Group toppers and Manchester City second. Whatever happens on Match day 6 will not change anything. The same thing is true in Groups D & E. In Group D, Atletico Madrid are first and Bayern Munich second and in Group E, Monaco are first and Bayer Leverkusen second. In Group F, Real Madrid must win against Borussia Dortmund for the top spot or else, Dortmund will top the Group. Leicester have already won in Group F and Match Day 6 will throw up the second team out of Porto and Copenhagen. If Porto do not win their match against Copenhagen, they go out of contention. The draw will not be enough for Porto since Copenhagen hold the away goal advantage. Finally in Group H, only Juventus are through and Sevilla and Lyon both have their chances. Sevilla have 10 points and therefore if they beat Lyon, they qualify for the play-offs. Sevilla can even top the Group if Juventus fail to win their match. However, if Lyon can beat Sevilla by at least two goals, it will be curtains for the Spanish side.
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