Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots

Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, including Italian champion Juventus and English champion Manchester City, go into Week 6 on Dec. 9-10 with a chance of claiming one of the five spots still up for grabs.

Manchester City's dramatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich gave it new life in Group B, while Monaco's 1-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday improved its chances of advancing. Despite Liverpool's 2-2 tie with Ludogorets, the Reds still have a chance to advance.

Group A: Atletico Madrid
Group B: Real Madrid
Group C: Bayer Leverkusen
Group D: Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal
Group E: Bayern Munich
Group F: Barcelona, Paris St. Germain
Group G: Chelsea
Group H: Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk

Group A: Juventus (9 pts.) or Olympiakos (6 pts.).

Juventus advances if it beats or ties Atletico Madrid at home or Olympiakos ties or loses to Malmo at home. Olympiakos holds the edge over Juve in the tiebreaker, so it will take second place if it wins and Juve loses.

Group B: FC Basel (6 pts.), Liverpool (4 pts.), Ludogorets (4 pts.)

FC Basel advances if it beats or ties Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool must beat FC Basel to advance. (Ludogorets can't overtake FC Basel and Liverpool even if it wins at Real Madrid -- as improbable as that sounds -- because the best it can do is tie FC Basel or Liverpool, both of which win the tiebreaker with Ludogorets.) 

Group C: Monaco (8 pts.) or Zenit St. Petersburg (7 pts.).

Monaco advances if it beat or ties Zenit. The Russian club needs to win to go through to the round of 16.

Group E: Roma (5 pts.) or CSKA Moscow (5 pts.) or Manchester City (5 pts.).

The only single result that can decide the group is a Roma win over Manchester City in Rome. A CSKA Moscow win at Bayern will only send CSKA to the round of 16 if Roma doesn't win -- indeed it is CSKA's only chance of advancing. Manchester City will advance with a win over Roma only if CSKA Moscow doesn't win at Bayern.

After that, it gets complicated as there are multiple scenarios, depending on whether two or three teams end up tied. Roma wins the tiebreaker with CSKA Moscow, CSKA Moscow beats Manchester City in a tiebreaker, while the winner of a Roma-Manchester City tiebreaker will depend on the score of their draw (Roma wins with 0-0 or 1-1; Manchester City with any other draw).

If the Roma-Manchester City and Bayern Munich-CSKA Moscow games end in ties, leaving the three teams behind Bayern still deadlocked, Roma will win a three-team tiebreaker.

Group G: Sporting Lisbon (7 pts.) or Schalke 04 (5).

Sporting Lisbon advances with a win or tie at Chelsea -- it beats Schalke 04 in the tiebreaker -- or if Schalke 04 doesn't beat Maribor in Slovenia. Schalke 04 and Chelsea wins send the German club into the round of 16.
2 comments about "Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots".
  1. t h, November 26, 2014 at 10:17 p.m.

    Well summed up. Have been trying to get my head around City's group for a while. Thats the clearest I've seen it put.

    Think you may want to check your figures for Group B. Basel are on 6 points and Liverpool 4. Scoucers have to win.

  2. t h, November 26, 2014 at 10:38 p.m.

    Also (if CSKA lose) are you sure Roma would proceed with a 1-1. If so on what rule just out of interest? Both teams will have drawn each other 1-1 home and away.

    Wouldn't it go down to rule 6: "Superior goal difference from all group matches played" With city going through with -1 goal difference overall, vs Roma's -4? (Though if CSKA also drew Roma would indeed then go though as you say on a 3 way tiebreaker).

    P.S. My brain hurts :\

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