This week we have the final set of games in the Champions League group stages to look forward to and there is still plenty to play for with a number of teams still in with a chance of either winning their group, qualifying as the runner up in the group or snatching a spot in the Europa League in the New Year by finishing third.

Of course, there are also a number of teams who have already qualified, some of whom have already won their groups. There is much less at stake for these teams and there is a real chance that they may rest players in games this week, which can lead to some unusual results occurring.

That’s something that we are going to have to watch out for!

So what we have done this week, is rather than go through all 16 games and give you tips for each, we are going to focus on those games where something is on the line and where teams will likely name first choice, or close to first choice teams.

To do that of course, we will identify which teams are already through, which teams have won their groups and which teams still have work to do!

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Let’s see how things stand in the Champions League ahead of Matchday 6.

Champions League Group Stage

Currently, in each of the groups the following has been decided. Qualified teams in bold, teams confirmed as group winners in Italics.

  • Group A1st – Man City, 2nd – Paris St Germain, 3rd TBC (RB Leipzig or Club Brugge)
  • Group B 1st – Liverpool, 2nd TBC, 3rd TBC, 4th – TBC (Porto, At. Madrid or AC Milan)
  • Group C 1st – Ajax, 2nd – Sporting Lisbon, 3rd – B.Dortmund, 4th
  • Group D 1st TBC, 2nd TBC (Real Madrid or Inter), 3rd – Sheriff Tiraspol, 4thDonetsk.
  • Group E 1st – Bay Munich, 2nd – TBC, 3rd – TBC (Barcelona or Benfica), 4th. Dynamo Kyiv
  • Group F – 1st – Man Utd, 2nd – TBC, 3rd – TBC, 4th – TBC (Villarreal, Atalanta or Y. Boys)
  • Group G – Everything still to be decided (Lille, Salzburg, Sevilla & Wolfsburg)
  • Group H – 1st – TBC, 2nd – TBC (Chelsea or Juventus), 3rd Zenit, 4th – Malmo

Current Seedings For The Round of 16 & Europa League Qualifiers Confirmed

  • Top Seeds (Group Winners) – Manchester City, Liverpool, Ajax Amsterdam, Bayern Munich, Manchester United
  • Unseeded (2nd in the Group) – Paris St Germain, Sporting Lisbon
  • Qualified but 1st or 2nd not decided – Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus, Chelsea
  • Could Still Qualify For Round of 16– AC Milan, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Benfica, Lille, FC Porto, Red Bull Salzburg, Sevilla, Villarreal, Wolfsburg
  • Qualified for the Europa League (3rd in Group) – Borussia Dortmund, Sheriff Tiraspol, Zenit St Petersburg
  • Could Still Qualify for the Europa League but are out of the Champions League – Club Brugge, Red Bull Leipzig, Young Boys
  • Confirmed As Finishing Bottom of Group – Besiktas, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv, Malmo

Now that we know this information, it is easy to then pinpoint the games coming up this week in the Champions League that have the most riding on them, for this article we are going to focus on the games that have qualification for the Round of 16 up for grabs, rather than top spot in the group or a Europa League spot.

Champions League Key Fixtures – Matchday 6

AC Milan v Liverpool

Scenario – Liverpool have already qualified from the group. AC Milan need to win and also for FC Porto to draw or lose to Atletico Madrid in order to finish second in the group. Any other result will see Milan finish 3rd or 4th in the Group depending on the result in the Porto v Atletico Madrid game.

Our Prediction – I can’t see Liverpool playing a full-strength team here but they will still be strong enough to cause Milan problems, but I can see the Italians winning this one. Take Milan to win at 21/20.

FC Porto v Atletico Madrid

Scenario – A win for FC Porto will put them into the knockout phase of the tournament regardless of the result in the Milan v Liverpool game. A draw for Porto could be enough if Milan draw or lose to Liverpool. If Atletico Madrid win, they will at least finish in third, the Europa League qualifying spot, and could qualify for the Champions League if Milan lose or draw with Liverpool.

Our Prediction – These two teams battled out a 2-2 draw in the first game between the two and I think this game will be equally as tight and close, and I think a draw is the most likely outcome once again which is 23/10 at bet365. A result which would not suit either team if Milan win.

Atalanta v Villarreal

Scenario – A win for either of these teams will see them finish second in the group behind Manchester United. If the match is drawn then Villarreal will qualify in second. If Atalanta lose or draw, then if Young Boys beat Manchester United, the Swiss team will finish third in the group ahead of the Italians.

Our Prediction – Atalanta come into this game with home advantage and much the better form. Villarreal have won just one of their last five and as such, I think the Italian side will clinch the win to take them through. Back Atalanta to win at 3/4.

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Scenario – Bayern Munich have already won this group. A draw for Barcelona is only enough for the Catalan side to qualify if Benfica draw or lose at home to Kyiv. If Barcelona lose, then they will qualify if Benfica draw or lose.

Our Prediction – Bayern Munich may still rest some key players for this game, but I don’t think it will matter. Barcelona are a poor side nowadays and I think even a Bayern side missing a few key players will get the win here. Take Bayern to win at 4/6.

Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv

Scenario – Benfica must win and hope Barcelona draw or lose away to Bayern Munich to qualify in second spot in the group. Any other result here sees Barcelona qualify.

Our Prediction – Benfica need Bayern Munich to do them a favour against Barcelona and I think they will get it, so the question is can they get the win they need against Kyiv? Despite a loss to Sporting in the league before this game, I think Benfica land the narrow win they need which is 3/10 with bet365.

Red Bull Salzburg v Sevilla

Scenario – If either team wins the game, they qualify from the group. A draw means Salzburg will finish second in the group. If they draw and Lille lose, then they will top the group. If Sevilla win and Lille lose, then the Spanish side will finish first, otherwise they will finish second with a win.

Our Prediction – This group still has everything up for grabs and in both games a win for any team will qualify them. I can’t see either team landing a win here, which is bad news for Sevilla as I think that means they will be eliminated. Take the draw here at 12/5.

Wolfsburg v Lille

Scenario – Lille need to win to win the group and if they draw, they will finish at least first or second in the group and qualify. If Lille draw and Salzburg don’t win, then they will finish top. Wolfsburg qualify with a win and if the other game is a draw, then the Germans will qualify in top spot.

Our Prediction – With so much at stake in this game, a draw will do Lille and I think the form that the French team are in means they have a chance to get that and perhaps more as I feel they are the better of the two teams. Take Lille to land an away win here at 11/5.