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Tense times in Liverpool and Rome

Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 6.07CET
Former champions Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC will both be eliminated tonight if results go against them. features

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Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 6.07CET

Tense times in Liverpool and Rome

Former champions Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC will both be eliminated tonight if results go against them.
Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC, who have been European champions 13 times between them, will both be eliminated from the UEFA Champions League if results go against them in their final group stage matches tonight. AS Monaco FC, runners-up to FC Porto in last season's final, also face the prospect of an early exit when the remaining four places in the first knockout stage are decided.

Full view
As usual, will be the best place to keep up to date with the qualifying picture as it unfolds across Europe. To get a full view of the state of play prior to kick-off in the final Matchday 6 fixtures, click here.

Three-way battle
Madrid will see their dream of a tenth European title end if they lose at already eliminated AS Roma in Group B. Madrid are third in the three-way battle for the two qualifying places behind FC Dynamo Kyiv and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who are level on points with Madrid. If Madrid win they are through no matter what the other outcome is. A draw would only be enough for Madrid if Dynamo won. If both matches end in draws, Leverkusen will advance with Dynamo as they have a better head-to-head record against the Spaniards.

Goals at a premum
There is also a three-way battle in Group A where goals will be at a premium because Olympiacos PFC, Monaco and Liverpool have such close goal differences. Olympiacos kick off at Liverpool as group leaders while Monaco travel to last-placed RC Deportivo La Coruña in second place. All three could either win the group, finish second or be eliminated. They could also all finish with ten points - and identical head-to-head records - in which case goals would determine who advances.

More relaxed
Unlike Madrid and Liverpool, former champions Juventus FC and FC Bayern Munchen can take a more relaxed approach to their final Group C matches, having qualified already. However, their opponents Maccabi Tel-Aviv and AFC Ajax will be doing just the opposite. With Juventus sure of first place and Bayern second, Ajax and Maccabi are both chasing a UEFA Cup spot. Ajax hold the advantage with a better head-to-head record against the Israelis and will go through if both finish with the same number of points.

Top place
The only issue to be decided in Group D is who finishes top out of Manchester United FC or Olympique Lyonnais, which will determine their knockout round seedings. Group leaders United are at UEFA Cup-bound Fenerbahçe SK but Lyon can overtake them if they beat winless AC Sparta Praha at home and United lose or draw in Turkey.

Last updated: 08/12/04 23.09CET

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