We’re two-thirds of the way through the group stage of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League.
Of the 16 places available in the knockout rounds, only six have been claimed and only one seeded spot has been determined (Bayern Munich).
[ THREE THINGS: Liverpool loses | Man City wins ]
Here’s where we stand in the eight groups of the UCL with two matchdays remaining on the docket.
Bayern Munich handed a start to 20-year-old American defender Chris Richards on Wednesday, and can let the kids play a ton over their final two group matches after clinching the top spot.
Atleti will hope that’s the case in Spain in its next match, as Lokomotive Moscow is two points behind but faces U.S. coach Jesse Marsch’s winless Salzburg in Russia.
Essentially: Atleti’s in the driver’s seat for the second spot but everyone’s alive.
Dec. 1: Atleti-Bayern, Lokomotiv-Salzburg
Dec. 9: Bayern-Lokomotiv, Salzburg-Atleti
Borussia Monchengladbach can take drama out of the last day by beating visiting Inter in its next match, while a Shakhtar sweep of Real Madrid could make the final day flat-out insane.
There could easily be four teams within three points if Inter Milan and Shakhtar win on the next matchday. Gladbach (8 points) leads Real by a point, with Shakhtar on four points and Inter on two.
Dec. 1: Shakhtar-Madrid, Gladbach-Inter
Dec. 9: Madrid-Gladbach, Inter-Shakhtar
City is through and will claim the top spot with a draw or better in Portugal on Matchday 5.
Marseille cannot finish higher than third, while Olympiacos needs to win in France, hope Porto falls to Man City, and then beat Porto in Greece on the final day.
It’s a safe bet than City and Porto are heading through to the knockout rounds.
Dec. 1: Porto-Man City, Marseille-Olympiacos
Dec. 9: Man City-Marseille, Olympiacos-Porto
Jurgen Klopp’s men should still be loving their 3-0 start to group play, one that’s given them a two-point lead over Ajax and Atalanta.
Even if Liverpool were to fall behind Ajax and Atalanta after Matchday 5, the Eredivisie and Serie A sides meet on the final day when Liverpool visits winless Midtjylland. The Reds hold the tiebreaker over Atalanta due to their big win in Bergamo and beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam.
Dec. 1: Liverpool-Ajax, Atalanta-Midtjylland
Dec. 9: Midtjylland-Liverpool, Ajax-Atalanta
Chelsea and Sevilla are through to the knockout rounds on 10 points each, leaving Krasnodar and Rennes to scrap for third place and a move to the Europa League.
The Blues and Sevilla drew 0-0 in London, and tiebreakers are points from head-to-head games, then head-to-head points, then head-to-head goals, then head-to-head away goals. A Chelsea goal in Spainn will be a great start to the seeded spot.
Dec. 2: Sevilla-Chelsea, Krasnodar-Rennes
Dec. 8: Chelsea-Krasnodar, Rennes-Sevilla
Borussia Dortmund and Lazio are in good places headed into their meeting at the Westfalenstadion, the Bundesliga side with nine points to the Serie A club’s eight.
Club Brugge is four points back of Lazio, so a win over Zenit in Belgium would keep them in play for a spot in the final round (though Dortmund’s twin 3-0 defeats of Brugge give them every tiebreaker should they both land on 10 points).
Dec. 2: Dortmund-Lazio, Brugge-Zenit
Dec. 8: Zenit-Dortmund, Lazio-Brugge
Barcelona and Juventus are through, with Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros duking it out for the Europa League place on a point a-piece. If Barca (12 points) betters Juve’s (9 points) Matchday 5 result, the group will be decided before the Serie A champs head to the Camp Nou. Barca’s 2-0 win in Turin also gives it the clearer path to the seeded spot.
Dec. 2: Ferencvaros-Barca, Juventus-Dynamo Kiev
Dec. 8: Barca-Juventus, Dynamo Kiev-Ferencvaros
This one has potential for chaos.
Manchester United’s nine points ahead of a match with PSG are a good advantage but the path to the next round is rocky. A PSG win accompanied by Leipzig beating Basaksehir in Turkey would leave three teams on nine points heading into the final matchday.
Dec. 2: Man Utd-PSG, Basaksehir-Leipzig
Dec. 8: Leipzig-Man Utd, PSG-Basaksehir
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UEFA Champions League standings, state of play with two matchweeks left originally appeared on NBCSports.com