World Cup


What’s at stake in the Champions League final group matches?

Eight teams are gunning for the last four places in Europe’s top club football competition.

The top two teams from each group of four progress to the next round [Susana Vera/Reuters]

The final stages of the UEFA Champions League beckon as Europe’s top football teams shoot it out in the final round of the group stage on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Four places in the final 16 remain unclaimed, with Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon, Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille, AC Milan, Salzburg, Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk all vying for a spot in the knock-out stages.

Napoli, Liverpool, Club Brugge, Porto, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica have already qualified for the next round.

There are eight groups of four teams each, and the top two teams from each group progress to the next round. The third-placed team in each group will qualify for next season’s Europa League, UEFA’s second-tier club tournament.

This is how it stands in each group and what action is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Group A

Tuesday 20:00 GMT

  • Liverpool v Napoli
  • Rangers v Ajax

With Napoli and Liverpool already qualified, all eyes in Group A are on Tuesday’s match between Scotland’s Rangers and Ajax of the Netherlands.

Rangers have failed to win a single game of this campaign so far, and will need to beat Ajax by a margin of at least five goals in order to oust them from the group’s third place and win a spot in the Europa League.

Champions League Group A

Group B

Tuesday 17:45 GMT

  • Bayer Leverkusen v Club Brugge
  • Porto v Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid will finish in this group’s Europa League place unless Bayer Leverkusen better their result. If Atletico draw against Porto, Bayer Leverkusen will need to win against Bruges to make it into third. But, if Atletico lose, a draw will be enough to see Leverkusen playing at the European level next year.

Club Brugge will top Group B if they match or better Porto’s result – otherwise Porto finish top. Both have already qualified.

Champions League Group B

Group C

Tuesday 20:00 GMT

  • Bayern Munich v Inter Milan
  • Viktoria Plzen v Barcelona

You can ignore these games tonight, unless you’re a die-hard fan. All positions in the group have already been confirmed.

Bayern top the group with five wins from five games so far; Inter are second. Barcelona will be playing in the Europa League next year, while Viktoria Plzen are out.

Champions League Group C

Tottenham in training for Champions League clash
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Japhet Tanganga train ahead of their Champions League clash [Matthew Childs/Action Images/Reuters]

Group D

Tuesday 20:00 GMT

  • Marseille v Tottenham
  • Sporting Lisbon v Eintracht Frankfurt

Now these are the games you want to be watching on Tuesday. Group D is still the most open. All four teams can still qualify with a win tonight – and anyone could still top the group.

Tottenham and Sporting Lisbon just need a draw to guarantee their place in the next round, but a loss for the London side will see them finish third and a season in the Europa League.

Champions League Group D

Group E

Wednesday 20:00 GMT

  • Chelsea v Dinamo Zagreb
  • AC Milan v Salzburg

With Chelsea already qualified, Milan just need a draw against Salzburg to make it into the second qualifying place. However, a win for Salzburg will see them take the second spot.

If by some twist of fate, Zagreb manage to beat Chelsea, and Milan beat Salzburg, Zagreb could still make it out of the bottom spot to qualify for the Europa League.

Champions League Group E

Group F

Wednesday 17:45 GMT

  • Real Madrid v Celtic
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Leipzig

Real Madrid have already qualified and Celtic are already out. So while this is likely to be a great game, it has no consequences for the Champions League.

In this group’s other game, however, a win for Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk will see them finish second and qualify for the knockout stages, while Leipzig only require a draw to qualify. The loser of this game will play in next year’s Europa League.

Champions League Group F

Group G

Wednesday 20:00 GMT

  • Manchester City v Sevilla
  • Copenhagen v Borussia Dortmund

Like Group C, this group is already sewn up, with City and Dortmund qualifying in first and second, Sevilla in the Europa League place, and Copenhagen out.

Champions League Group G

Group H

Wednesday 20:00 GMT

  • Juventus v Paris Saint-Germain
  • Maccabi Haifa v Benfica

PSG and Benfica are already through, but their performances on Wednesday will determine who tops or comes second in the group.

Juventus and Maccabi Haifa have each only won one game out of the five played so far, and like the other pairing in this group, whichever wins more points on Wednesday will finish third, with a spot in the Europa League up for grabs.

Champions League Group H

Source: Al Jazeera