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How the ground lies for hopefuls

Published: Tuesday 23 November 2004, 21.36CET
With four teams through to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, another 12 places are up for grabs.
Published: Tuesday 23 November 2004, 21.36CET

How the ground lies for hopefuls

With four teams through to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, another 12 places are up for grabs.

There are four teams already qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds and another 12 places waiting to be taken as the penultimate round of group stage fixtures is played out this week.

Group A
Leaders Olympiacos CFP can qualify if they beat RC Deportivo La Coruña and AS Monaco FC fail to win at home to second-placed Liverpool FC. Deportivo, semi-finalists last season, must win in Greece to stay in contention while a Liverpool win in the Stade Louis II would take the English side through to the last 16.

Group B
Three teams are level on seven points at the top and whoever wins the match at the Santiago Bernabéu, where Real Madrid CF take on Bayer 04 Leverkusen, will progress. AS Roma are six points adrift and must beat leaders FC Dynamo Kyiv to retain hope of third place and entry into the UEFA Cup.

Group C
With Juventus FC already confirmed as group winners, FC Bayern München look best placed to join them. They hold a three-point advantage in second place and will go through if they win their home match with Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC and AFC Ajax fail to win at Juventus. A draw will suffice if Ajax lose.

Group D
Olympique Lyonnais are already through and Manchester United FC can join them by beating the French champions. Even if they lose the match at Old Trafford, United will be assured of second place should third-placed Fenerbahçe SK fail to beat AC Sparta Praha, who are already out. If United draw and Fenerbahçe win, the Turkish side would still need to beat Sir Alex Ferguson's team by at least four clear goals in their last match to go through.

Group E
Group E is led by PSV Eindhoven, who welcome Arsenal FC to the Philips stadium tomorrow. The Dutch side will progress provided they at least match whatever result Panathinaikos FC take from their away game against Rosenborg BK: PSV can thus lose and still qualify provided Panathinaikos also lose - in which case both PSV and Arsenal would go through. A victory for PSV, who have never progressed beyond the group stage, would leave them as group winners. Anything but three points for bottom-placed Rosenborg BK, meanwhile, will end their hopes.

Group F
AC Milan and FC Barcelona share a six-point cushion at the top and both need only a home draw tomorrow to go through. A more pressing question may be which of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic FC will finish third, and the answer will be known only if Celtic lose in Barcelona and Shakhtar win in Milan - in which case Shakhtar will step into the UEFA Cup.

Group G
Werder Bremen are strongly placed to follow FC Internazionale Milano into the next stage. The German champions sit five points above Valencia CF, who have to win their match at RSC Anderlecht, who are already eliminated, to have a chance of staying alive in the competition. Even if Valencia win, they will be eliminated in the event of a Bremen victory over Inter. A victory for Inter will secure them first place in the section.

Group H
Chelsea FC are already confirmed as winners. FC Porto, the reigning European champions, sit bottom with just two points and could be eliminated tomorrow when they visit second-placed PFC CSKA Moskva, knowing only a victory would maintain their hopes for certain. If Porto draw in Moscow and Chelsea fail to win their home game against Paris Saint-Germain FC, then the Portuguese team are out. If they lose to CSKA, they could yet qualify for the UEFA Cup if Chelsea beat PSG.

Last updated: 23/11/04 20.58CET