The 2021/22 UEFA Champions league first round is almost concluded with it’s final round of games going down on Tuesday and Wednesday night. A total of 16 teams required for the knockout rounds is yet to be completed. So far 11 teams have booked their tickets with 5 to go.
European giants Liverpool were the first side to qualify for the second round as early as Matchday 4 of the Group stage alongside 6-time winners Bayern Munich, 4-time winners Ajax and 2-time winners Juventus. There was room for more in Matchday 5 as 7 other teams joined the early birds in the safe zone. They were Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Sporting CP, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
The much awaited Matchday 6 is here and some top sides are yet to book their spot in the next round, they include big names like AC Milan, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Porto, Sevilla, and many more.
We take a look at what these sides need from their final game.
Dubbed the ‘group of death’ during the draws, 2019 winners Liverpool made it a stroll in the park having won the group since Matchday 4. However all three other sides in the group stand a chance of progressing into the next round.
Atletico Madrid travel to Portugal to play Porto, the ‘Los rojiblancos’ who have just four points need to defeat Porto who have five points to qualify, while the Portuguese also need to win to advance or draw and hope AC Milan fails to beat Liverpool.
Meanwhile in Italy, AC Milan also need all three points to qualify and hope Porto and Atletico draw.
Another battle of tickets will ensue in Group E as Barcelona risk a first round elimination in 20 years. 5-time champions Barcelona face a daunting task of getting all maximum points away at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich. The Catalan giants need to win or draw then hope Benfica fail to beat Dynamo Kyiv. It’s a similar story for Portuguese side Benfica who also need a win to send them through to the next round while hoping Barca don’t get a favourable result in Bavaria.
Although Manchester United have qualified in this group, it’s all to play for between Villareal and Atalanta as whoever gets the victory goes through, if both sides share the spoils of a draw, the Yellow Submarines (Villareal) will go through.
This is the real ‘group of death’. All sides in this group can be eliminated as none is yet to book a ticket. Table toppers Lille travel to bottom placed Wolfsburg with only 3 points between them. A win for either side will book a ticket. Second placed Salzburg host third placed Sevilla, a win for either side sends them true but a draw mean Salzburg advance.
It is noteworthy to remember that sides who place third in their groups have another hope of playing in the UEFA Europa league knockouts.