Juve, Bayern battle to stay

Madrid, Barcelona in comfortable position; Milan pair risk exit

The final week of the group stage will also be a nervy one for Italian pair AC Milan and their arch-rivals Inter, who are both far from certain of making the knockout stages.
Real Madrid and holders Barcelona are in a more comfortable position as it would take an unlikely combination of results to eliminate either one. Five-times champions Liverpool have already been eliminated after a miserable campaign in Group F and are one of nine teams who go into the final week with no hope of progressing.

On the other hand, eight sides -- Girondins Bordeaux, Olympique Lyon, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Porto, Fiorentina and Sevilla -- have already made sure of their places in the last sixteen.

French champions Bordeaux took one of the places in Group A, leaving twice former champions Juventus and four-times winners Bayern to scrap for the other spot.
The odds seem stacked against Louis van Gaal's Bayern, with Juventus enjoying home advantage and needing only a draw.

The Bundesliga side should be boosted by the return to fitness of Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben, who will add much needed pace and control in midfield especially in the absence of injured playmaker Franck Ribery. 

Group F, featuring Barcelona and Inter Milan, is the most evenly balanced and the only one where all four teams still have a chance, although it would take an unlikely combination of results to remove Pep Guardiola's team.

Barcelona, who lead with eight points, visit Dynamo Kiev, who have five, while Inter Milan and Rubin Kazan, who have six points each, meet at the San Siro.  Group C leaders Real Madrid need only to a avoid a three-goal defeat at Olympique Marseille to progress, however second-place AC Milan must win away to Swiss champions FC Zurich to make sure without depending on the other result.

German champions VfL Wolfsburg host Manchester United in Group B and will qualify providing CSKA Moscow do not get a better result than the Bundesliga side in their visit to eliminated Besiktas. 

VfB Stuttgart, the third German team, can pip Unirea Urziceni for the second spot in Group G if they beat the Romanians at home, otherwise their opponents will follow Sevilla through.

Zico's Olympiakos need a point at home to Arsenal on Wednesday to follow the Premier League side through from Group H. If they slip up, Standard Liege will go through in their place with a home win against AZ Alkmaar.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry