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Dublin: 9°C Friday 7 May 2021

Explainer: Who needs what to progress to the Champions League knockout stages?

Both Manchester clubs will confirm their places in next week’s draw tonight and could both yet finish as group winners.

Micah Richards chases down Franck Ribery back in October.
Micah Richards chases down Franck Ribery back in October.
Image: Clint Hughes/AP/Press Association Images

Group A

HAVING SUFFERED TWO defeats back-to-back in the league, David Moyes must focus his attentions on Europe tonight as Shakhtar Donetsk visit Old Trafford.

With 11 points, Manchester United have already secured a place in the knockout stages and a point at home to the Ukrainian champions would mean they went into the draw as Group A winners.

Bayer Leverkusen, who play Real Sociedad in the other game, are just a point behind Shakhter in third and could pip them to second place with a win in the Basque region.

The Spaniards, meanwhile, are out of the running and have no chance of even making the Europa League after picking up one draw and four defeats from five matches.

Group B

Robert  Mancini has the chance to get one over on his former rivals Juventus when his Galatasaray team host the Serie A champions tonight.

The Italian’s first game in charge saw goals from Didier Drogba and Umut Bulut earn the Turkish outfit a 2-2 draw in Turin and they are currently third ahead of FC Copenhagen on goal difference and two points behind Juve  in second.

Real Madrid can’t be caught out in front on 13 points but may still welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Xabi Alonso in the Danish capital.

Group C

Whatever their results away to Benfica tonight, Paris Saint-Germain will claim top spot in Group C thanks to the 13 points they’ve amassed so far.

Their Portuguese opponents, level on seven points with Olympiakos but with inferior goal difference, are looking to clinch that second place and manager Jorge Jesus says they are going all out for a win.

Olympiakos welcome Anderlecht to Karaiskakis Stadium knowing qualification is in their own hands but must plan without top scorer Kosta Mitroglu who is missing through injury. Anderlecht are playing purely for pride as they have no chance of avoiding a fourth-place finish.

Group D

Manchester City travel to Bavaria to take on reigning European champions Bayern Munich in the knowledge that both clubs will be in next week’s round of 16 draw.

Bayern, who extended their Bundesliga unbeaten run to 40 matches with a 7-0 drubbing of Werder Bremen on Saturday, are top with 15 points while Man City are three points back.

In the group’s other game, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen battle it out for the Europa League spot with the Russians favourites due to their three-point advantage and superior goal difference.

We will cover the remaining groups tomorrow morning

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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