UEFA Champions League matchday six brings down the curtain on another thrilling group stage – who will complete the last-16 line-up?
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Seven clubs are in the last-chance saloon with four round of 16 places up for grabs; here's what to look out for in this decisive European week.
Matchday six fixtures (21.00CET unless stated)
Tuesday 11 December
Group A: Club Brugge v Atlético, Monaco v Dortmund
Group B: Barcelona v Tottenham, Inter v PSV Eindhoven
Group C: Liverpool v Napoli, Crvena zvezda v Paris
Group D: Galatasaray v Porto (18:55CET), Schalke v Lokomotiv Moskva(18:55CET)
Wednesday 12 December
Group E: Ajax v Bayern München, Benfica v AEK Athens
Group F: Shakhtar v Lyon, Manchester City v Hoffenheim
Group G: Real Madrid v CSKA Moskva (18:55CET), Viktoria Plzeň v Roma (18:55CET)
Group H: Young Boys v Juventus, Valencia v Manchester United
Three things to look out for this week
1) When Liverpool beat Paris on matchday one, they appeared well set for qualification, particularly as Napoli were held at Crvena zvezda. How the tables have turned. The Reds have lost to every other team in the group since and now sit three points behind the Italians and two adrift of Paris. Carlo Ancelotti is arguably the last coach they would want to face in their decider too. The 59-year-old oversaw home and away wins – and two clean sheets – against Liverpool in his first season (2009/10) as Chelsea coach. Ominously for the Merseysiders, his maiden campaign at Napoli has already featured a 1-0 win against them.
2) If it's a head-to-head shoot-out you're looking for, then Shakhtar versus Lyon is the game for you. The Ukrainian side have to win to progress, which could play into the attack-minded French outfit's hands. Bruno Génésio's side have scored twice or more in every group game and could become the sixth side to do so in all six matches if they repeat the feat in Kyiv. The five teams who achieved that sequence previously – Tottenham, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid (twice) – all progressed.
3) Talking of Barcelona and Tottenham, they meet at the Camp Nou with the visitors needing to equal Inter's result to guarantee their last-16 spot alongside the hosts. Beating the Catalan club would be particularly sweet for Mauricio Pochettino, a former player and coach at Barça's city rivals Espanyol. The Argentinian earned his first win as a manager in a derby at the Camp Nou in 2009. "Espanyol were bottom and Barcelona were top," he recalls. "All the people were saying Espanyol were dead and had no chance. It was a special victory and an unbelievable memory." Could lighting strike twice?
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