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Other SportsChampions League permutations - who needs what to qualify on matchday six?

Champions League permutations – who needs what to qualify on matchday six?

After almost three months of thrills and spills, brilliance and controversy, it’s crunch time in the Champions League.

Tonight sees the first batch of matchday six games with the remainder taking place tomorrow.

Manchester City and Arsenal are already through to the knockout stages but the hopes of Manchester United and Newcastle are hanging by a thread with both needing help from elsewhere should they want to remain in Europe’s premier club competition.

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Here, we run through all the permutations as the continent’s elite prepare to jockey for position.

Group A (Qualified: Bayern Munich)

Bayern Munich have qualified as group winners, taking 13 points from their first five games, but it’s all to play for behind them.

Manchester United enter matchday six bottom of the group after their 3-3 draw with Galatasaray. They must win at home to Bayern and hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in order to finish second, though a victory will at least guarantee them a third-place finish and Europa League football.

Copenhagen lead Galatasaray on goal difference, so a home draw will send them through, with the Turkish giants needing to win to advance.

Group B (Qualified: Arsenal, PSV)

Arsenal qualified as group winners by routing Lens 6-0 last time out, and that result also guaranteed PSV second place, so there is nothing to play for when the top two meet tonight.

Lens host Sevilla in the group’s other game, knowing a draw will see them drop into the Europa League. The Spanish outfit must win to reach a competition they have won a record seven times.

GROUP C (Qualified: Real Madrid)

Top spot is also decided here, with Real Madrid boasting a perfect record after five games.

Napoli are close to confirming second place; they must avoid losing by two or more goals against Braga tonight to qualify for the last 16. The Portuguese side can only advance with a handsome victory in Italy.

Bottom team Union Berlin, meanwhile, need to win at home to Madrid and hope Napoli beat Braga in order to take the consolation prize of a Europa League place.

Group D (Qualified: Real Sociedad, Inter)

Real Sociedad and Inter have both qualified for the round of 16, and top spot will be decided when they face off tonight. The Nerazzurri must win to overtake La Real, who boast a better goal difference.

Salzburg and Benfica – who squandered a 3-0 lead to draw with Inter last time out – will face off for a Europa League place, with the Lisbon giants needing to win by two or more goals to finish third.

Group E (Qualified: Atletico Madrid, Lazio)

Atletico Madrid and Lazio have both qualified for the knockouts, with Diego Simeone’s side holding a one-point lead over the Biancocelesti and only needing a draw to top the group when they face each other tomorrow.

Feyenoord are guaranteed to drop into the Europa League, while winless Celtic will finish bottom regardless of their matchday six result.

Group F (Qualified: Borussia Dortmund)

This is where things get interesting. Borussia Dortmund have qualified and will top the group if they avoid defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

Behind BVB, it’s all to play for. PSG enter matchday six second with seven points, but they must win in Germany to be certain of a top-two finish. A victory will also see them top the group.

Newcastle United and Milan face off at St James’ Park, currently locked level on five points. The Magpies must win and hope PSG fail to do so to advance, while the Rossoneri must win and hope PSG lose.

If PSG advance to the last 16, the winner of Newcastle’s meeting with Milan – or the Magpies if it finishes level – will claim the Europa League place. Understood?

Group G (Qualified: Manchester City, RB Leipzig)

This is the only group where everything is decided. Reigning champions Manchester City have guaranteed top spot, with RB Leipzig going through as runners-up. Young Boys will play Europa League football after Christmas, and Red Star Belgrade are out entirely.

Group H (Qualified: Barcelona)

Leaders Barcelona have qualified for the last 16 and will win the group unless a remarkable sequence of events transpires tomorrow night. Barca would have to lose to pointless Antwerp, with Shakhtar Donetsk beating Porto and making up a seven-goal swing over the Blaugrana, to deny them top spot.

Porto and Shakhtar meet in Portugal in a winner-take-all clash as they battle for second place. Porto hold the head-to-head advantage, so a draw will be enough to send them through.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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