The group stage of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League is already making its first verdicts when it comes to teams qualifying for the round of 16 and others facing elimination from the world’s most prestigious club tournament.
Bayern Munich (Group E) and Juventus (Group H) became the first two teams to book a ticket for the knockout stage, while Malmo FF were the first team to know they will not participate in the competition next year. .
The top two teams from each of the eight groups will qualify for the round of 16 in February. The eight third-place teams are entered into the February playoffs for the second-tier continental competition: the Europa League. The latter teams are eliminated from European competition for the remainder of the season.
The following are the scenarios for each group involved in Wednesday’s action:
Group A scenarios
Up for grabs the fourth day: The only potential verdict on Matchday 4 is that RB Leipzig could be eliminated from contention with a defeat. Even a tie may not be enough.
1. PSG (7 points)
A win against RB Leipzig would virtually guarantee a place in the round of 16 with two games to play. A draw or a loss would give City a chance to outdo him in the standings.
2. Man City (6 points)
Victory against Club Brugge would be a huge step towards the knockout, little less than a mathematical certainty.
3. Club Brugge (4 points)
A win over Manchester City would not only put him in a good position for shock advancement to the round of 16, but could also secure a minimum third place that would at least secure Europa League playoff action in February.
4. RB Leipzig (0 points)
Jesse Marsch’s team is facing a mandatory victory to at least remain in the running for a spot in the Europa League, which comes with a third place finish. Leipzig will visit Club Brugge next day on 24 November.
The ranking of group A
|1. Paris Saint-Germain||7th||3||2||0||1||6th||3||+3|
|2. Manchester City||6th||3||2||1||0||11||6th||+5|
|3. Club Brugge||4th||3||1||1||1||4th||7th||-3|
|4. RB Leipzig||0||3||0||3||0||6th||11||-5|
Group B scenarios
Up for grabs the fourth day: Liverpool can secure a place in the round of 16 and remain perfect with a win.
1. Liverpool (9 points)
The fourth consecutive victory would put the English club out of reach of both Atletico Madrid and AC Milan with two games remaining, mathematically clinching a place in the round of 16.
2. Postage (5 points)
The draw at AC Milan helped keep the Italians at bay. The best scenario for Porto is that Atletico lose or draw at Liverpool and that second place in the round of 16 falls on the last day Porto host Atletico Madrid.
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3. Atletico Madrid (4 points)
Any result at Anfield would increase his chances of advancement, but a defeat would increase the pressure for the last two games and create a dramatic final potential in Porto.
4. Milan (1 point)
The Italian Serie A co-leaders were unlucky in not winning all four UEFA Champions League matches. But with six points still up for grabs, they are still in the running for second place and third place, the latter coming with a spot in the Europa League playoffs.
Group table B
|2. FC Porto||5||4th||1||1||2||3||6th||-3|
|3. Atletico Madrid||4th||3||1||1||1||4th||4th||0|
Group C scenarios
Up for grabs the fourth day: Ajax could advance as the first team in Group C with a win, while Besiktas could be eliminated mathematically.
1. Ajax (9 points)
A second consecutive win over Borussia Dortmund would lead to first place in Group C, which would put the Dutch club among the top-seeded in the round of 16.
2. Borussia Dortmund (6 points)
The German side will want at least a draw at home to Ajax for a chance to claim the top seed. A defeat would make Matchday 5’s showdown against Sporting CP into a virtual showdown for second place.
3. PC Sports (3 points)
The home game against rear-end Besiktas is a win not to be missed to stay close to Borussia Dortmund and keep any hope of advancing to the round of 16 alive. It would also serve to eliminate Besiktas and guarantee a third place in the worst case and the Europa League action in the playoffs arrives in February.
4. Besiktas (0 points)
A draw might keep them in the running, but in practical terms it will only take an away win.
Group table C
|2. Borussia Dortmund||6th||3||2||1||0||3||5||-2|
|3. Sports CP||3||3||1||2||0||5||7th||-2|
|4. Besiktas JK||0||3||0||3||0||2||8th||-6|
Group D scenarios
Up for grabs the fourth day: Shakhtar Donetsk risk elimination if Sheriff Tiraspol beats Inter.
1. Real Madrid (9 points)
The home win against Shakhtar should avoid drama in the last two games of the group. If he beats Sheriff on the road in the next round, he will guarantee the pass.
2. FC Sheriff Tiraspol (6 points)
The surprising Moldovan side have two consecutive home games against two favorites (Inter and Real Madrid). But this time they don’t surprise anyone.
3. Inter (4 points)
Anything but a win at FC Sheriff would keep the Moldovan side in the mix for one of the top two places, which is not the way anyone has seen this group go. A win would put Inter in a strong position to qualify. A shock defeat would bring Inter to the brink of elimination.
4. Shakhtar Donetsk (1 point)
Shakhtar fans are cheering for an Inter defeat to keep third place close at hand.
Group standings D
|1. Real Madrid||9||4th||3||1||0||9||3||+6|
|2. Sheriff of FC Tiraspol||6th||3||2||1||0||5||4th||+1|
|4. Shakhtar Donetsk||1||4th||0||3||1||1||9||-8|