Crunch time for matchday five contenders

It's make-or-break time for various contenders on matchday five, with Club Atlético de Madrid and Bayer 04 Leverkusen a win away from progress while others vie for survival.

A win for Leverkusen against Monaco will put the Bundesliga side into the last 16
A win for Leverkusen against Monaco will put the Bundesliga side into the last 16 ©AFP/Getty Images

UEFA Champions League knockout ambitions can be realised by a number of clubs on matchday five with the likes of Club Atlético de Madrid, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Arsenal FC within touching distance of the round of 16, while hopes hang by a thread for various others.

With two early games kicking off the matchday on Tuesday there is an ideal opening for one of PFC CSKA Moskva and AS Roma to put themselves in pole position to join FC Bayern München in qualifying from Group E. The pair are locked on four points – two ahead of Manchester City FC who host Bayern – meaning, at worst, the winner would need to avoid defeat on matchday six to advance.

The action begins at 18.00CET in Moscow, the same time it gets under way between FC BATE Borisov and FC Porto in Group H, with the Portuguese side already having secured progress. Victory is a necessity for the Belarusian side but the three points will be useless should FC Shakhtar Donetsk – with nine-goal Luiz Adriano in their ranks – beat Athletic Club later that evening.

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All four teams are still in with a shout of proceeding from Group G, where FC Schalke 04 can move alongside Chelsea FC on eight points by overcoming the pacesetters in Gelsenkirchen; an NK Maribor reverse at Sporting Clube de Portugal will prove the end of the road for the Slovenian club.

Switching focus to Wednesday's matches, last season's finalists Atlético are a win away from confirming their presence in the next stage and have the opportunity to do so when they welcome Olympiacos FC in Group A. It will not be straightforward for Diego Simeone's men as the Greek side have aspirations of their own, sitting three points back from the leaders and level with Juventus who travel to Malmö FF, themselves able to clamber to six points with victory in Sweden.

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The top two meet in Group D but a success would signify more for Arsenal FC than Borussia Dortmund, who have the cushion of four wins so far. The Gunners are five points clear of RSC Anderlecht, but should they lose in London and the Belgian title holders get past bottom side Galatasaray AŞ in Brussels, second spot will be up for grabs. A home victory for Bayer 04 Leverkusen against AS Monaco FC will wrap up a last-16 slot and Group C premiership for the Bundesliga club. The French team lie second on five points, one above FC Zenit and SL Benfica who face off in Russia with all to play for in the race for second.

With Real Madrid CF walking away with Group B, all eyes are on the dash for the runners-up berth. FC Basel 1893 look best placed – three points superior to Liverpool FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad – but the European champions arrive in Switzerland on Wednesday, meaning any winner between Liverpool and the Bulgarian outfit will join Basel on six points should they succumb to Madrid.

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