Here are the results that the Premier League clubs need to do qualify for UCL knockouts
As we resume club football after the final international break of 2018, we also have an eye on which teams could qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. As we all know, there are two matchdays remaining in the group-stage phase and there have been some tough battles in every group. No team is having its own way, which is a testament to the quality of this competition.
Without further ado, let us focus on the scenarios and what Premier League clubs need to do in order to get their name registered for the knockout draw and remain in the top-flight European competition.
Liverpool – Remaining games vs PSG (A) and Napoli (H)
Table – Napoli (6 pts), Liverpool (6 pts), PSG (5 pts), Red Star (4 pts)
Liverpool currently have six points from four games, having beaten PSG and Red Star Belgrade at Anfield. However, it is their away form in Europe which is a real cause for concern. They put in meek performances at Napoli and Belgrade to leave themselves in a tricky situation.
Jurgen Klopp’s men face PSG away from home on Tuesday before playing Napoli a few weeks later at Anfield. If they beat the Parisians, they will qualify. However, if they lose or draw that game, then they have to beat Napoli by a two-goal margin to get into the knockout stage (assuming Napoli beat Red Star at home).
Manchester United – Remaining games vs Young Boys (H) and Valencia (A)
Table – Juventus (9 pts), Man United (7 pts), Valencia (5 pts), Young Boys (1 pt)
Manchester United were a bit fortunate to stay in the game at Juventus and eventually nick a win. That has helped them get into a position where they don’t need to do anything extraordinary. If the Red Devils beat Young Boys at Old Trafford on matchday 5 and Juventus get the better of Valencia on the same night, Jose Mourinho’s men will qualify.
However, if United draw/lose against Young Boys and Valencia beat Juve, then the final group game against the Spanish side would be a straight shootout.
Manchester City – Remaining games vs Lyon (A) and Hoffenheim (H)
Table – Man City (9 pts), Lyon (6 pts), Hoffenheim (3 pts), Shakhtar Donetsk (2 pts)
The Premier League champions are in pole position to qualify as getting one point from the remaining two games is enough for them. They are leading the group with nine points and if they get a draw/win away at Lyon on matchday five, they will qualify for the knockout phase.
However, if they lose to the French side and Hoffenheim wins on the same night, then Pep Guardiola’s men have to get a point at home against the German side. In any case, a draw in one of the two remaining fixtures would be enough.
Tottenham Hotspur – Remaining games vs Inter Milan (H) and Barcelona (A)
Table – Barcelona (10 pts), Inter Milan (7 pts), Tottenham (4 pts), PSV (1 pt)
Out of the Premier League lot, Tottenham have the toughest ask to qualify for the knockout phase. They showed great character to come from behind and beat PSV that virtually knocked the Dutch side out of this competition.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have no choice but to beat Inter Milan on Wednesday. The juggernaut doesn’t stop there, as they must beat Barcelona away from home as well. It is because Inter are at home to PSV on the final matchday, and expect the Italians to get the better of the Dutch side that night.
As the worst case, Spurs can win both games and still get knocked out. Not an ideal situation to be in!