Road to qualification ... A look at the Champions League race

December 04, 2017
PSG's Edinson Cavani (right) celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with his teammate Neymar during a Champions League Group B match between Paris St. Germain and Celtic at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, recently. PSG won 7-1.


MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Eight places in the Champions League's last 16 are still up for grabs heading into the final round of group games.
Three traditional heavyweights Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are already through, as are former champion Chelsea and two of the nouveaux riches in Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Tottenham and Besiktas complete the set of current qualifiers.
A look at what's happening around the Champions League this week:


ATLETICO IN DANGER


Atletico Madrid need a lot to happen to keep alive their streak of four consecutive appearances in the knockout stage.
Diego Simeone's team, twice a finalist in the last four years, must beat Chelsea away and need Roma to draw or lose against Azerbaijani team Qarabag at home.


ENGLISH SWEEP?


England is already assured of having two group winners in the last 16, through Manchester City and Tottenham. By Wednesday, it could have five.
Tomorrow, Manchester United need just a point at home to CSKA Moscow to seal first place in Group A, and already qualified Chelsea will finish top of Group C by beating Atletico.
A day later, Liverpool can secure top spot in Group E by beating Spartak.
The English have never had five teams in the knockout stage of the Champions League.

GERMANY DISAPPOINTS


Germany's representation in the last 16 could come down to just one team, Bayern Munich, after disappointing campaigns from the Bundesliga's best - Borussia Dortmund in particular.
Dortmund, which reached the final in 2013, are already out after failing to win any of their group games and the side is competing with APOEL for the consolation of Europa League qualification from Group H. Leipzig still have a chance to progress on their European debut but need a favour from Monaco at Porto in Group G. 

MORE ITALIAN HEARTACHE?


None of the three Italian clubs in the competition have advanced yet, setting up a nail-biting finish to the group phase that is being compared to Italy's World Cup playoff loss to Sweden.
Napoli appear to have the toughest path to the knockout stage. Fresh off a devastating loss at home to Juventus in Serie A, the Partenopei must win at Feyenoord on Wednesday and hope Manchester City beat Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F.
Juventus, a finalist in two of the last three seasons, can go through with a win at Olympiakos in Group D tomorrow or if Sporting Lisbon fail to beat Barcelona.
Roma will also go through with a win against Qarabag in Group C tomorrow or if Atletico Madrid fail to beat Chelsea.

 

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