4 December, 2012 - 14:46

UEFA Champions League Preview: Matchday 6

UEFA Champions League Preview: Matchday 6

Currently thirteen sides have booked their places in the UEFA Champions League knockout round. Six teams claim remaining three places in the last 16 and ten clubs will struggle for five Europa League spots.

Group A
Tuesday, December 4

Dinamo Zagreb vs Dynamo Kiev

Paris Saint-Germain vs FC Porto

FC Porto and Paris Saint-Germain FC have already qualified for the last 16. The clash between two leaders is set to define the winner and the runner-up of the Group A. Should The Dragons win or at least draw the game, they remain at the top of the table.

The result of the clash between the bottom-placed Dinamo Zagreb and the third-placed Dynamo Kiev will not change anything for both teams. Dynamo Kiev are through to the Europa League while Dinamo Zagreb’s European season is over.

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Group B
Tuesday, December 4

Montpellier HSC vs Schalke 04

Olympiacos vs Arsenal

Schalke 04 and Arsenal have already booked the places in the knockout round, while Olympiacos secured the Europa League spot. Schalke 04 need three points in France if they are to win the group. In order to guarantee themselves the first-place finish Arsenal must win in Greece and hope that Schalke 04 will lose to the firm underdogs Montpellier HSC.

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Group C
Tuesday, December 4

AC Milan vs Zenit St. Petersburg

Málaga CF vs Anderlecht

Málaga CF have already won Group C. Provided that AC Milan beat Anderlecht in their last match of the group stage, they may level Málaga’s number of points. However The Anchovies will be topping the table anyways thanks to the better head-to-head record. Currently Zenit lie above Anderlecht in the third spot due to the goal difference (they are level in terms of head-to-head record). Anderlecht badly need the win over Málaga and hope that Zenit either draw or lose against Milan.

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Group D
Tuesday, December 4

Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City

Real Madrid vs Ajax

Borussia Dortmund have demonstrated excellent performance so far. They have justly qualified to the knockout stage from the first place of the ‘Death Group’. Real Madrid secured the second place.

Main intrigue of the Matchday 6 revolves around the Europa League spot challenged by Man City and Ajax, with both teams playing against the leaders away from home. Ajax lie in the third place and are one point ahead of the fourth-placed Man City. In order to progress to the Europa League Man City have to beat Borussia Dortmund and hope that the Amsterdam side will lose to Real Madrid (which is likely, taking into account statistics – Real won the last five clashes against Ajax).

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Group E
Wednesday, December 5

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Juventus

Chelsea vs FC Nordsjælland

Shakhtar are through to the knockout stage and will win the group if they draw with Juventus. Vecchia Signora in turn need the win over Shakhtar in order to jump to the first spot. Draw will be enough for the Turin side to guarantee themselves the second place. Chelsea’s fate is no longer in their hands - they desperately need a win over FC Nordsjælland and hope that Juventus will lose in Donetsk. Rafa Benitez faces make or break moment – if he luckily progresses to the last 16, he may restore his damaged reputation.

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Group F
Wednesday, December 5

Bayern Munich vs BATE Borisov

Lille OSC vs Valencia CF

Bayern Munich and Valencia CF are topping the table sharing the even number of points, with German side edging their rivals due to the head-to-head record. Bayern would like to hammer BATE to get back at their eyebrow-raising defeat in Minsk. Should they secure the victory they will win the group. BATE are through to the Europa League whatever the outcome.

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Group G
Wednesday, December 5

FC Barcelona vs Benfica

Celtic vs Spartak Moscow

Benfica and Celtic challenge the second spot of the Group G. Both clubs have earned seven points but Benfica are in the better position due to the head-to-head superiority. Should Benfica battle to a victory over mighty Barcelona, the unconditional leaders of the Group G, they will secure the second place notwithstanding the outcome of the clash between Celtic and Spartak.
Celtic need a win over the underdogs Spartak and keep hoping that Benfica lose or draw.

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Group H
Wednesday, December 5

Manchester United vs CFR 1907 Cluj

Sporting Braga vs Galatasaray

Cluj and Galatasaray struggle for the qualification to the last 16. Currently both sides have an even number of points with the Turkish side occupying the second place due to the head-to-head record. In order to progress the Romanian side needs earning more points than Galatasaray in their last Group Stage game. Should both teams share the same number of points Galatasaray will progress to the knockout stage.

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Photo: sportinglife.com

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Author: Basil Naumov

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