UEFA Champions League Groups: Who’s Advanced, Who’s Been Eliminated, and What Up for Grabs During Matchday 6
Thanks to an unconventional schedule built around the 2022 World Cup, the UEFA Champions League group stage is about to wrap up. And while we’ve seen some fantastic soccer thus far in the tournament, there’s still plenty more on tap. Tuesday, November 1, and Wednesday, November 2, will be the next course on the menu.
While the final matches of group play always contain at least a few dead rubbers, there’s still plenty of drama yet to unfold. With that in mind, let’s break down all the possibilities for Matchday 6, so you know where to focus your attention.
Group A: Napoli and Liverpool have already advanced
While there’s still some fluidity in Group A, the big-picture truths are already established. Liverpool and Napoli will be advancing into the Round of 16, while Ajax and Rangers fell short.
On Matchday 6, the top two teams will meet at Anfield. While there’s technically room for Liverpool to steal the top spot, they’d need to win and make up a goal differential in the process. Is it possible? Yes, but not likely, especially when you consider the Reds’ form this year.
The other match sees a similar scenario. Ajax currently occupies third place, but Rangers can draw level with a win. The Scottish side, however, will have to secure victory by at least four goals to advance. Barring a miracle, Ajax will be heading into the Europa League.
Group B: Atletico Madrid will be hoping to avoid crashing out of Europe altogether
In Group B, Club Brugge and Porto have clinched the top two places. With all due respect to those clubs, though, there’s bigger drama on Matchday 6 than seeing which of them takes first place.
Atletico Madrid holds a one-point lead over Bayern Leverkusen for the third-place spot in the group. The former squad faces Porto, while the latter faces Club Brugge. The Spanish side controls its own destiny; a win places them in the Europa League. While that will still be a bitter pill to swallow, it will be better than spending the rest of the year outside of Europe.
Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Inter Milan are all locked into place
Every tournament has a Group of Death, and this year’s Champions League was no exception. Unfortunately for the neutral observer, though, one team in question, in this case Barcelona, has already expired. There won’t be any drama on Matchday 6.
Bayern Munich have clinched the top spot, and Inter Milan are locked into second place. As mentioned above, Barcelona are in third, meaning they’ll drop into the Europa League, and Viktoria Plzen bring up the rear.
Will Bayern vs. Inter be worth watching? Possibly, depending on how many players get rested for the meaningless match. Even if both teams are at full strength, though, the drama elsewhere will probably monopolize your attention.
Group D: Tottenham are in first place, but anything can happen
If Group C is the Group of Death, then Group D is the Group of Life. Heading into Matchday 6, every team has a shot of advancing into the Round of 16.
Tottenham currently sit in first place with eight points. Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt are on seven, and Marseille bring up the rear with six. As you might notice, those numbers are pretty close together, creating a bit of chaos.
Take Spurs, for example. If they win, they’ll top the group; a draw will still see them advance. If they lose, however, the North London club could fall into the Europa League. Marseille and Frankfurt will advance with a win, while Sporting could advance with a draw against the Germans.
At the risk of glossing over some of the finer details, we’re basically in “win, and you’re in” territory.
Are these the biggest teams in the competition? No, but the uncertainty will make the group worth following.
Group E: Chelsea have advanced, but second place is up for grabs on Matchday 6
Thanks to two wins over AC Milan, Chelsea have locked up this group. The second spot is still up for grabs, although the Italian side holds an advantage.
During Matchday 6, Milan will meet RB Salzburg. All they’ll need is a win or a draw to secure a place in the Round of 16. As for the Europa League spot, it looks like the loser of that match will probably finish in third. Dinamo Zagreb will need to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to have any chance of continuing their European campaign. Even if the Blues play their second string, that result won’t be likely.
Group F: Real Madrid have already advanced, with RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk fighting for the second spot
Real Madrid have a rich history in this competition and will look to make more this season. The Spanish giants have already clinched a place in the Round of 16. The second spot, however, is up for grabs.
RB Leipzig enter Matchday 6 with 9 points, while Shakhtar Donetsk have six. The two clubs are playing head-to-head, which makes the outcome easy. Should the German side secure a point, they’ll advance. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, need an outright victory to advance to the Round of 16 via a tiebreaker.
The team that doesn’t advance will drop into the Europa League, as Celtic have already been mathematically eliminated.
Group G: Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund have nothing to play for on Matchday 6
Despite the marquee names in Group G, there isn’t much to see here. Thanks to tiebreakers, there’s no possibility of movement on the final matchday.
That means Manchester City advances out of the group in first place, with Borussia Dortmund locking up second. Sevilla are third, putting them into the Europa League, while FC Copenhagen bring up the rear.
Group H: PSG will advance, and Juventus are fighting for a third-place spot
Group H is another one where we know who will move on, but the final seeding is still up in the air.
On the positive side of things, PSG and Benfica are moving on. They both sit on 11 points, and based on Matchday 6 engagements, the Portuguese side have the easier road to the top spot. Should both sides match results, though, Kylian Mbappe and company have the superior goal differential.
At the bottom of the group, both Juventus and Maccabi Haifa have 3 points, putting leaving them to fight for the Europa League spot. As mentioned above, Juventus have the challenge of facing PSG on the final matchday. Should they and Maccabi Haifa match results, though, the Italians have a comfortable advantage in terms of goal differential.
And there you have it. With 16 matches across eight groups, there’s still plenty of soccer to be played during Matchday 6. So, whether you want to watch your favorite team, the biggest names, or the matches with the highest potential for drama, you’ll know where to turn.