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The UCL fate of Liverpool, Napoli, Spurs, and Co

What is the fate of Liverpool, Napoli, Spurs, Inter and co ahead of UCL Matchday 6?

December 11, 2018 By Ali M.
Group C is particularly interesting, as the Champions League's tiebreaking rules might be needed to separate the top three teams. Here's everything you need to know.

The final Matchday of the UEFA Champions League group stage is upon us. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the final spots in the round of 16 will be confirmed, while others will have to bear with the disappointment of elimination.

All eyes will be on the likes of Liverpool, PSG, Napoli, Tottenham, and Inter Milan; as they look to secure progression on the final day. Here's everything you need to know ahead of Matchday 6.

Which teams have already been eliminated?

The number of teams that are already destined to bow out of the Champions League in the group stage this season is 13. While that list will increase, the confirmed eliminations are Benfica, Club Brugge, Valencia, CSKA Moskva, Red Star Belgrade, Galatasaray, Hoffenheim, Lokomotiv Moskva, Viktoria Plzeň, AEK Athens, Monaco, PSV Eindhoven, and Young Boys.

Which teams have already secured qualification?

Twelve teams have booked their ticket to the next round. They are Ajax, Atletico, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Juventus, Man City, Man United, Porto, Real Madrid, Roma, and Schalke.

Which teams could grab the last four knockout stage slots available?

Only four spots remain but as many as seven teams are still in the running for a Round of 16 berth. They are Inter Milan, Liverpool, Lyon, Napoli, PSG, Shakhtar, and Tottenham.

What are the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League tiebreaking rules?

Given the confusing permutations for the final round of this season's Champions League group stage, it is important to know the tiebreaking rules. There are 12 "commandments" but the first four could be enough to draw separations if need be, on Matchday 6 of the UCL. Here they are:

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams

  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams

  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams

  4. Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams

The mouth-watering permutations

The reason for revisiting the tiebreaking rules is for the possible permutations, with what's going on in Group C being particularly interesting.

Group C

The fact that Liverpool can finish anywhere from first to last after the final day is proof of how tight things are in this group.

UEFA Champions League Group C table with Napoli and Liverpool

They face group leaders Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday needing a win only:

IF PSG stumble to a shocking loss against Red Star Belgrade as the standings would see Napoli and Liverpool qualify with 9 points each while PSG (8) would be demoted to the Europa League and Crvena Zveda (7) would clinch a respectable rock-bottom finish on 7 points. 

IF PSG secure a draw against Red Star Belgrade, the French giants would hit 9 points (+5). Liverpool would also hit 9 points with victory over Napoli. So who would go through? The first two tiebreaking rules would come into play and take us back to the head-to-head record between PSG and Liverpool in previous matchdays. 

Leg 1: Liverpool 3-2 PSG

Leg 2: PSG 2-1 Liverpool

Each took three points from these two encounters. Each recorded a (+0) goal difference after the two legs which produced a 4-4 aggregate score. Each scored four goals. However, as per the fourth tiebreaking rule, PSG would qualify thanks to their two goals at Anfield which defeat the Reds' solitary goal at the Parc des Princes. PSG would then qualify with only a draw on Tuesday night but such a scenario would mean Liverpool should beat Napoli at least 1-0 to qualify through the seventh tiebreaking rule (goals scored in all group matches) as Liverpool (8) have a goalscoring advantage over the Italians (7). 

IF Napoli loses by a one-goal margin to Liverpool but manage to score at least one goal in that defeat, that would be enough for Carlo Ancelotti and his men to reach the Last 16 thanks to the head-to-head away goals rule since the Reds failed to find the back of the net in Napoli's 1-0 win in Italy. Only a PSG defeat to Red Star Belgrade would save Liverpool in such a situation. 

Anything else would result in Jurgen Klopp and his team's elimination.

By conclusion, Mbappe and Co. need a triumph to secure progression but would go through regardless of the result, if Klopp's men lose.

Also, Ancelotti's Serie A outfit needs only a draw (hitting 10 points) if Les Parisiens win (hitting 11 points) on the final day. Should the Ligue 1 giant lose, then Napoli will be through regardless of the result at Anfield.

Group B

Will it be Tottenham or Inter Milan that will join Barcelona in the next round? The north London giant currently holds the second spot due to a superior head-to-head away goals tally. As a result, Pochettino's men need only to match the Nerazzurri's result. As for the Italians, they need to beat PSV and hope Pochettino's men slip up at Camp Nou to make it through.

Group B - UEFA Champions League

Group F

While Man City is already through, the team that will be joining them is undecided. It's a toss between Lyon (2nd with eight points) and Shakhtar (3rd with five points). Those two teams will battle it out on the final day, with the Ukrainians needing a win to leapfrog the Ligue 1 outfit.

Which struggling teams can vie for the 2018/19 Europa League?

As of now, only Benfica, Club Brugge, Valencia are guaranteed a spot in the Europa League round of 32. They will be joined by either Tottenham or Inter Milan, Lyon or Shakhtar, and Napoli, PSG, or Liverpool, though the Reds can still miserably finish dead last in their group.

Other teams in contention for a Europa League backdoor entrance are CSKA Moskva, Red Star Belgrade, Galatasaray, Hoffenheim, Lokomotiv Moskva, Viktoria Plzeň

When is the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League last-16 draw?

The draw for the next stage of Europe's top-tier club competition will be held on December 17, 2018.

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