Barcelona and Manchester City are sailing through but Tottenham, United and even Paris Saint-Germain could go out early… the state of play in the Champions League group stages
- Only three Champions League clubs have maximum points after three games
- Barcelona are dominating Group B while Manchester City are also set to qualify
- However heavyweights including Manchester United and PSG have work to do
- Sportsmail assesses the state of play in all eight groups ahead of matchday four
The Champions League resumes this week with only three clubs – Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Juventus – boasting a maximum nine points so far.
For every English club, there is plenty to play for with nobody certain of advancing to the latter stages, and nobody cut adrift.
Sportsmail assesses the state of play in all eight groups…
Jadon Sancho’s Borussia Dortmund are one of three Champions League sides with nine points
GROUP A FIXTURES
Monaco vs Club Brugge, Tuesday
Atletico Madrid vs Dortmund, Tuesday
Atletico Madrid vs Monaco, Nov 28
Dortmund vs Club Brugge, Nov 28
Club Brugge vs Atletico Madrid, Dec 11
Monaco vs Dortmund, Dec 11
Dortmund, featuring England’s latest international Jadon Sancho, will book their place in the last-16 if they beat Atletico Madrid in Spain on Tuesday, having thumped them 4-0 in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago.
Thierry Henry has endured a sticky start to life as Monaco manager. With one point from three matches so far, they simply have to beat Brugge at home to give themselves any chance. Otherwise Atletico will also go through as expected.
Verdict: Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid already look certs to qualify
Thierry Henry has endured a sticky start to life as Monaco manager – they have one point
GROUP B FIXTURES
Inter Milan vs Barcelona, Tuesday
Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven, Tuesday
PSV Eindhoven vs Barcelona, Nov 28
Tottenham vs Inter Milan, Nov 28
Barcelona vs Tottenham, Dec 11
Inter Milan vs PSV Eindhoven, Dec 11
Barcelona made light of missing Lionel Messi in beating Inter Milan last time out though the Argentine may return for Tuesday’s return in the San Siro. A win would put the Catalans into the last-16 and Luis Suarez is bang in form after a Clasico hat-trick.
Spurs cursed a late PSV equaliser in Eindhoven but if they beat the Dutchmen at Wembley, they are back in the game providing Inter don’t beat Barca.
If results go to form this week, the Spurs-Inter clash on November 28 looks key to deciding who also qualifies.
Verdict: Sorry Spurs fans, it’s likely Inter Milan will join Barca in the last-16
Barcelona have made light of a tough group and now have Lionel Messi back from injury
Tottenham meanwhile are on the verge of elimination after picking up just one point so far
GROUP C FIXTURES
Red Star vs Liverpool, Tuesday
Napoli vs PSG, Tuesday
Napoli vs Red Star, Nov 28
PSG vs Liverpool, Nov 28
Red Star vs PSG, Dec 11
Liverpool vs Napoli, Dec 11
A fascinating group with PSG in third place and in real danger of missing out – they can’t afford to lose in Napoli on Tuesday, an amazing state of affairs considering the money they have splashed out on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Liverpool’s home wins against PSG and Red Star Belgrade puts them in a strong position but that could quickly change if they slip up in Serbia.
Jurgen Klopp will be even more reliant on his famed front three after leaving Xherdan Shaqiri out of his squad because of political sensitivities.
Verdict: Napoli v PSG is straight shoot-out to join Liverpool, if they respect Red Star
PSG are in third place in Group C and in real danger of missing out on the knockout stages
Liverpool’s home wins against PSG and Red Star Belgrade puts them in a strong position
GROUP D FIXTURES
Porto vs Lokomotiv Moscow, Tuesday
Schalke vs Galatasaray, Tuesday
Lokomotiv Moscow vs Gala, Nov 28
Porto vs Schalke, Nov 28
Schalke vs Lokomotiv Moscow, Dec 11
Galatasaray vs Porto, Dec 11
Lacks any of Europe’s big-hitters and Porto have taken full advantage. Victory at home to Lokomotiv Moscow, who are still looking for their first victory, would virtually assure the 2004 winners a place in the knockout stages.
The other spot looks a direct fight between Galatasaray and Schalke. The pair battled out a goalless draw in Istanbul, in which former Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic helped restrict Gala to two shots on target, and the German side will be confident of finishing the job on Tuesday night
Verdict: Porto and Schalke are set for top two unless Gala pull off shock in Germany
Group D lacks any of Europe’s big-hitters and Porto have taken advantage with seven points
GROUP E FIXTURES
Benfica vs Ajax, Wednesday
Bayern vs AEK Athens, Wednesday
AEK Athens vs Ajax, Nov 27
Bayern vs Benfica, Nov 27
Ajax vs Bayern, Dec 12
Benfica vs AEK Athens, Dec 12
The big surprise is that Bayern Munich aren’t top after three matches but that could change on Wednesday if they beat AEK Athens at home, with Robert Lewandowski still a goal threat. FC Hollywood is the usual soap opera this season with manager Robert Kovac unpopular with parts of the dressing-room.
Ajax have been a breath of fresh air so far and they will qualify if they beat Benfica in Lisbon (Bayern would also go through if both they and Ajax win).
Teen defender Matthijs de Ligt is attracting attention from Europe’s biggest clubs including Barcelona and Manchester City. Spurs hope their past relationship with Ajax makes them contenders
Verdict: Bayern look certainties. Ajax should join them if they avoid defeat in Benfica
The big surprise in Group E is that heavyweights Bayern Munich aren’t top after three matches
GROUP F FIXTURES
Lyon vs Hoffenheim, Wednesday
Man City vs Shakhtar, Wednesday
Lyon vs Man City, Nov 27
Hoffenheim vs Shakhtar, Nov 27
Man City vs Hoffenheim, Dec 12
Shakhtar vs Lyon, Dec 12
Manchester City have bounced back from an unlikely home defeat against Lyon to win on the road against Hoffenheim and Shakhtar.
They’ll expect to complete the double over the Ukranians on Wednesday, when Pep Guardiola hopes home fans will turn out in their numbers after a lacklustre atmosphere against Lyon.
Lyon themselves haven’t won in the group since beating City but have home advantage against Hoffenheim.
A win would virtually assure their progress to the knockout stages, and ex-Man Utd winger Memphis Depay is in scoring form. Wins for both City and Lyon would guarantee Guardiola’s side a place in the last-16.
Verdict: Man City and Lyon look nailed on. City could book place on Wednesday
Manchester City have bounced back from an unlikely home defeat against Lyon in Group E
GROUP G FIXTURES
CSKA Moscow vs Roma, Wednesday
Plzen vs Real Madrid, Wednesday
CSKA Moscow vs Plzen, Nov 27
Roma vs Real Madrid, Nov 27
Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow, Dec 12
Plzen vs Roma, Dec 12
Real Madrid have been one of Europe’s big stories this season, losing Cristiano Ronaldo and firing manager Julen Lopetegui.
A surprise defeat to CSKA Moscow in matchday two means the three-time Champions League holders can’t afford another slip-up away to Czech underdogs Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday night.
CSKA Moscow v Roma is one of the most intriguing games of the week, with both clubs having aspirations of joining Real in the last-16.
Nobody has scored more Champions League goals this season than ex-Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko but CSKA’s new hero is Nikola Vlasic, on loan from Everton. He scored the winner against Madrid.
Verdict: Real Madrid and Roma will ease through if they get away results this week
Despite a turbulent start to the season, champions Real Madrid are top of Group G
GROUP H FIXTURES
Valencia vs Young Boys, Wednesday
Juventus vs United, Wednesday
Juventus vs Valencia, Nov 27
United vs Young Boys, Nov 27
Valencia vs United, Dec 12
Young Boys vs Juventus, Dec 12
Manchester United have failed to score in either of their home games so far but even another defeat against Juventus in Turin on Wednesday won’t kill their chances – the final group game away to Valencia on December 12 looks key.
Juventus have looked outstanding so far with Giorgio Chiellini stopping goals and Paulo Dybala scoring them. Anything other than defeat in Turin sends them through.
Valencia will hope on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi can follow up his goal away to Young Boys with one or two more in the home leg. The Belgian has only netted twice in 15 appearances for his new club this season, though half them have been off the bench.
Verdict: Juve through with a draw vs United. Mourinho fighting Valencia for second
Manchester United have failed to score in either of their home Champions League games
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