4 places up for CL up; Bayern, Napoli are chasing perfection

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Tottenham players celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football game between Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England, Saturday, October 29, 2022 (AP Photo / David Cliff)

AP

The Champions League has reached the final round of group stage matches, with four seats out of the last 16 still to come.

Here’s what to watch out for this week:

ELIGIBILITY PLACES

Eight teams are still fighting for the knockout stage, and four of them are from the same group.

That’s all there is to play in Group D, with just two points separating Tottenham’s top spot and Marseille at the bottom. The two teams will face off in France on Tuesday, with Sporting Lisbon hosting Eintracht Frankfurt.

A draw is enough for Tottenham to qualify, but all the teams in the group know a win will qualify.

AC Milan and Salzburg will meet at San Siro on Wednesday to decide which side will move to Chelsea in the E-group qualifying. Milan will be satisfied with a draw.

Leipzig has to avoid losing to Shakhtar on Wednesday in Group F to secure a promotion to the 1/8 finals. Shakhtar would have advanced by winning.

SHAKTER’S TASK

The Ukrainian club Shakhtar had a difficult task to play in the Champions League again after the Russian invasion. Now he has been able to display the Ukrainian flag in the last 16 years.

Shakhtar has to play his Champions League matches in Poland due to the war and field the young squad after FIFA allowed foreign players to suspend contracts with Ukrainian teams and play elsewhere. Coach Roberto De Zerbi left and the Ukrainian league was closed for six months from February to August. Saturday’s league game of Shakhtar was interrupted by an anti-aircraft alarm for over an hour.

Despite this, Shakhtar remains competitive and knows he will qualify from his group if he beats Leipzig. Shakhtar is sure of at least third place and the continuation of his extraordinary European season in the Europa League.

Shakhtar won their first game against Leipzig 4-1 in September, prompting Leipzig to sack coach Domenico Tedesco. The German side came back under Marco Rose, frustrating Real Madrid 3-2 last week after beating Celtic twice.

GROUP WINNERS

Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City are the only teams that have already won their groups before the last round.

Real Madrid will win Group F – regardless of their opponent from Leipzig – beating Celtic at home on Wednesday.

Napoli will be the winner of Group A if they avoid defeating Liverpool on Tuesday by four or more goals in a match between two teams already with some progress.

Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica are the teams to advance from Group H. They each have 11 points ahead of the close of games at Juventus and Maccabi Haifa respectively on Wednesday.

In Group B, Club Brugge is leading Porto by a point and both teams have already qualified. They end up with teams that fight for third place to reach the play-offs of the Europa League knockout round. Brugge is visiting Bayer Leverkusen in last place on Tuesday, while Porto are hosting Atletico Madrid in third place.

PERFECT RECORDS

Only 10 teams completed a single Champions League group stage with six wins in six matches. There may be two more this week.

Bayern could achieve the feat for the third time by winning Group C against Inter Milan on Tuesday, which already guarantees a second place, and may choose to rest for some players.

Napoli wants to become the first Italian team since AC Milan in 1992 to take six consecutive wins in their group, but to do so they need to win at Anfield.

Rangers and Viktoria Pilzno are zero points ahead of the closer groups of Ajax and Barcelona, ​​respectively.

LAST-16 DRAW

The last 16 matches will be drawn on November 7 at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

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