2016/17 Champions League group stage as it stands

If all the European top flights ended right now, who would be in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage? Debutants Leicester City and Rostov, for starters ...

Leicester City continue to top the Premier League table
Leicester City continue to top the Premier League table ©Getty Images

Europe's top flights are now approaching the final straight, with Paris Saint-Germain already crowned champions in France but plenty of silverware still up for grabs elsewhere. How is the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League shaping up? With a few caveats obviously – but if the leagues ended right now who would be in the group stage?

You have the usual suspects, like Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Bayern München, Juventus, Benfica and Paris. Tottenham Hotspur and Beşiktaş, meanwhile, are on course to end six-season group stage absences. Hertha Berlin, for their part, have their sights on a second UEFA Champions League campaign some 17 years after the first.

Then there is Leicester City. Still the shock Premier League leaders, they have never before graced European football's elite club tournament. Indeed, the Foxes have amassed only eight matches in UEFA competition down the years: they were knocked out in the UEFA Cup first round in 2000 and 1997 and reached the second stage of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1961.

Rostov are top in Russia
Rostov are top in Russia©Getty Images

As it stands, Leicester would be joined at the top table by Rostov, level on points with CSKA Moskva but first in Russia by virtue of a superior head-to-head record. They have just ten UEFA club games to their name, eight in the UEFA Intertoto Cup and two in last season's UEFA Europa League play-offs.

And who is missing? Six of this term's round of 16 lineup, for starters.

Group stage – as it stands
ESP: Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid
ENG: Leicester City, Tottenham, Arsenal
GER: Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin
ITA: Juventus, Napoli
POR: Benfica, Sporting CP
FRA: Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco
RUS: Rostov*
UKR: Dynamo Kyiv
NED: PSV
BEL: Club Brugge
SUI: Basel
TUR: Beşiktaş

*Currently level on points with CSKA Moskva but top on head-to-head record.

Play-offs – as it stands
Villarreal (ESP), Manchester City (ENG), Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER), Roma (ITA), Porto (POR)

Sevilla qualified for this season's group stage as 2014/15 UEFA Europa League winners
Sevilla qualified for this season's group stage as 2014/15 UEFA Europa League winners

UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League holders
The 2015/16 UEFA Champions League winners are also assured of a place in next season's group stage.

The 2015/16 UEFA Europa League winners will enter the UEFA Champions League play-offs unless the UEFA Champions League winners are already qualified for the 2016/17 group stage thanks to their domestic-league finishing position. If that happens, a group stage vacancy is created for the UEFA Europa League winners.

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