It’s been a while since we touched on the Champions League and given that this article goes live on a Wednesday usually, it tends to fall in the middle of each of the game weeks, so with that in mind, I am going to look forward a week in time to next week’s Matchday 5 in European Football’s biggest club knockout competition.
With just two games left to go in the qualifying group stage, the pressure is now on the teams not yet qualified to secure a place in the knockout phase, or at the very least, the consolation of a Europa League spot after Christmas.
For some teams, it is a chance to rest players and give fringe players a game, while for others, it is going to be lights out until the end of the qualifiers to try and ensure that they get a place in the next round.
We’re going to take a look at the situation in each of the eight groups, as well as the games this week, giving you not just our tips for each game, but how that could affect the standings and qualification situation in each group.
As always, if you want to have a bet on the Champions League, then bet365 Sport offers an outstanding range of bets on the tournament, while in the United States you can find excellent coverage of all top European soccer action at BetRivers Sportsbook.
Let’s now take a look at each of the Groups and the fixtures taking place this week. All teams have played four games. Points and (Goal difference) are shown. Teams already qualified are shown in italics. Confirmed Group winners are also shown in bold. Kick off times are 8pm unless otherwise stated.
Champions Leagues Groups & Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Manchester City – 9 (+8)
- Paris St Germain – 8 (+3)
- Club Brugge – 4 (-6)
- Red Bull Leipzig – 1 (-5)
Group A Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Club Brugge v Red Bull Leipzig
- Manchester City v Paris St Germain
Group A Scenarios
- If Club Brugge lose to Red Bull Leipzig, then Manchester City and Paris St Germain qualify for the knockout phase regardless of the result of their game.
- If Club Brugge and Red Bull Leipzig draw, and PSG earn a draw or better against Manchester City, then both PSG and Manchester City qualify for the knockout phase.
- A win for either PSG or Mancheser City confirms them as qualified for the knockout phase.
- A win for Man City also confirms that they will win the group.
- Liverpool – 12 (+8)
- FC Porto – 5 (-3)
- Atletico Madrid – 4 (-2)
- AC Milan – 1 (-3)
Group B Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Atletico Madrid v AC Milan
- Liverpool v FC Porto
Group B Scenarios
- With maximum points, Liverpool have already qualified for the knockout phase as group winners.
- A win for Atletico Madrid over Milan would ensure Milan finish bottom of the group.
- If FC Porto win and AC Milan defeat Atletico Madrid, FC Porto will be confirmed as qualified in second place in the group.
- Ajax Amsterdam – 12 (+12)
- Sporting Lisbon – 6 (+2)
- Borussia Dortmund – 6 (-4)
- Besiktas – 0 (-10)
Group C Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Besiktas v Ajax (5.45pm)
- Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund
Group C Scenarios
- Ajax have already qualified for the Knockout phase and need just one more point from their final two games to be confirmed as the group winners.
- The race for second place in the group behind Ajax will go down to the final Matchday regardless of the outcome of the Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund clash.
- Real Madrid – 9 (+6)
- Inter Milan – 7 (+3)
- Sheriff Tiraspol – 6 (-1)
- Shakhtar Donetsk – 1 (-8)
Group D Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk (5.45pm)
- Sheriff Tiraspol v Real Madrid
Group D Scenarios
- A win for Real Madrid will confirm them as having qualified from the group.
- If Real Madrid win and Inter Milan win, then they would both qualify for the knockout stage from the group.
- If Donetsk fail to win, then they cannot finish any higher than bottom of the group.
- If Sheriff win or draw, then the group final placings will be decided on the final Matchday.
- Bayern Munich – 12 (+15)
- Barcelona – 6 (-4)
- Benfica – 4 (-4)
- Dynamo Kyiv – 1 (-7)
Group E Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Dynamo Kyiv v Bayern Munich (5.45pm)
- Benfica v Barcelona
Group E Scenarios
- Bayern Munich need just one more point to be confirmed as the winners of the group. They are already confirmed as qualified for the knockout phase.
- If Benfica win, then Barcelona would have to beat Bayern Munich on Matchday 6 to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
- However, if Barcelona beat Benfica, then they will be confirmed as qualified for the knockout stage.
- Villarreal – 7 (+4)
- Manchester United – 7 (+1)
- Atalanta – 5 (0)
- Young Boys – 3 (-5)
Group F Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Villarreal v Manchester United (5.45pm)
- Young Boys v Atalanta
Group F Scenarios
- All four teams can still qualify from this group as either group winners or runners up.
- The winner of the Villarreal v Manchester United game will qualify for the Knockout Phase if Atalanta do not win away to Young Boys.
- If Atalanta win, then the group winners and runners up will be decided only on Matchday 6 but it would confirm Young Boys as finishing bottom of the group.
- If Young Boys win and Villarreal and Manchester United draw, then any team could win the group or finish second based on results on the final matchday.
- Red Bull Salzburg – 7 (+2)
- Lille – 5 (0)
- Wolfsburg – 5 (-1)
- Sevilla – 3 (-1)
Group G Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Lille v Red Bull Salzburg
- Sevilla v Wolfsburg
Group G Scenarios
- If Red Bull Salzburg beat Lille, then they qualify for the knockout phase. Salsburg will be confirmed as group winners if Wolfsburg and Sevilla draw and they achieve a victory.
- A draw between Salzburg and Lille combined with a Sevilla victory would leave all four teams in with a chance of winning the group or finishing second on the final matchday.
- If Sevilla lose to Wolfsburg then they can finish no higher than 3rd in the Group.
- If Lille and Wolfsburg win, then Sevilla will be confirmed as finishing bottom of the table.
- Juventus – 12 (+7)
- Chelsea – 9 (+5)
- Zenit St Peterburg – 3 (0)
- Malmo FF – 0 (-12)
Group H Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Chelsea v Juventus
- Malmo FF v Zenit St Petersburg
Group H Scenarios
- Juventus have already qualified for the knockout phase with maximum points.
- A draw or win for Chelsea over Juventus would ensure Chelsea join Juventus in the next stage of the tournament.
- A Juventus win over Chelsea would ensure Juventus win the group.
- Zenit need Juventus to beat Chelsea and for themselves to beat Malmo to give themselves a chance of pipping Chelsea to second spot in the group.
- Although not 100% certain. Malmo are very likely to finish bottom of the group and will do so if they fail to beat Zenit.
So What Are Our Champions League Tips?
We now know the scenarios that exist for each group, so here are my Champions League tips for the 16 games coming up this week.
Tuesday 23rd November
- Dynamo Kyiv v Bayern Munich – Away Win (1/5)
- Villarreal v Manchester United – Draw (13/5)
- Barcelona v Benfica – Home Win (4/7)
- Chelsea v Juventus – Home Win (3/4)
- Lille v Red Bull Salzburg – Draw (5/2)
- Malmo FF v Zenit St Peterburg – Away Win (21/20)
- Sevilla v Wolfsburg – Home Win (4/5)
- Young Boys v Atalanta – Away Win (Evens)
Wednesday 24th November
- Besiktas v Ajax Amsterdam – Away Win (8/15)
- Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk – Home Win (4/11)
- Atletico Madrid v AC Milan – Home Win (8/11)
- Club Brugge v Red Bull Leipzig – Away Win (Evens)
- Liverpool v FC Porto – Home Win (5/6)
- Manchester City v Paris St Germain – Home Win (4/6)
- Sheriff Tiraspol v Real Madrid – Away Win (1/4)
- Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund – Away Win (13/10)
*All odds shown are courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing.