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Champions League permutations: Chelsea and Liverpool could both go OUT

The Champions League group stage reaches its conclusion this week and there’s still plenty to be decided.

While English representatives Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are already through to the knockout stages, Chelsea and Liverpool still have work to do to join them.

Here’s your essential guide to all the permutations across the eight groups.

Liverpool won the Champions League last season but need a point to make the last-16 this time

TUESDAY

GROUP H: Chelsea’s group set for thrilling finish

Perhaps the most intriguing finish to any of the groups comes with Ajax, Valencia and Chelsea battling it out for the top two places in Group H on Tuesday night.

As it stands, Ajax lead the way on 10 points, with Valencia and Chelsea behind them on eight points. Valencia are ahead of Chelsea on head-to-head record.

However, Frank Lampard’s side know they will be through if they beat Lille, who haven’t won any of their five games so far, at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were on course to advance away at Valencia two weeks ago but were held to a draw

Chelsea were on course to advance away at Valencia two weeks ago but were held to a draw

Frank Lampard's side know they will advance with a win over bottom-placed Lille on Tuesday

Frank Lampard’s side know they will advance with a win over bottom-placed Lille on Tuesday

Chelsea may even get through with a draw if Valencia lose to Ajax in Amsterdam but if the Blues do the unthinkable and lose to Lille, it’s the Europa League after Christmas.

Ajax need just a draw against Valencia to advance, though the Dutch champions could also make it if Chelsea fail to beat Lille.

Valencia will get through if they beat Ajax or in any scenario where they finish on level on points with Chelsea because of their superior head-to-head record.

Fixtures: Ajax vs Valencia (8pm, BT Sport 3); Chelsea vs Lille (8pm; BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate)

Chelsea enter the final matchday knowing that victory over Lille will take them into the last-16

Chelsea enter the final matchday knowing that victory over Lille will take them into the last-16

GROUP E: Liverpool need a point to qualify

Liverpool travel to Austria to play Red Bull Salzburg knowing that a point will be sufficient to send them into the last-16.

The defending European champions currently lead the way in Group E, with 10 points from their five games, a point ahead of Napoli and three ahead of Salzburg.

And Jurgen Klopp’s will also get through if Napoli lose at home to Genk though this seems unlikely given the Belgians have yet to win in the group.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp boards the plane bound for Salzburg on Tuesday

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp boards the plane bound for Salzburg on Tuesday 

Erling Haaland, pictured after scoring at Anfield, is the Salzburg dangerman on Tuesday night

Erling Haaland, pictured after scoring at Anfield, is the Salzburg dangerman on Tuesday night

But if Liverpool were to lose to Salzburg, that opens the door for the Austrians but they also need Napoli to lose.

If Napoli do beat Genk, Salzburg need to defeat Liverpool by a better scoreline that the 4-3 by which they lost at Anfield on matchday two.

Napoli are through if they draw with Genk or if Salzburg do not beat Liverpool.

Fixtures: Red Bull Salzburg vs Liverpool (5.55pm, BT Sport 3); Napoli vs Genk (5.55pm, BT Sport 1) 

Liverpool still need a point against Red Bull Salzburg to book their passage to the knockouts

Liverpool still need a point against Red Bull Salzburg to book their passage to the knockouts

GROUP F: Inter and Borussia Dortmund battle it out

We’re set for a thrilling finish in Group F, where Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund are fighting it out to join group winners Barcelona in the last-16.

Inter host Barcelona on Tuesday night while Dortmund are at home to Slavia Prague, with the two separated by goal difference within their head-to-head record.

While Dortmund beat Inter 3-2 at the Westfalenstadion, the Italians won 2-0 in the San Siro and so have the edge.

Therefore, Inter know they will qualify if they beat Barcelona or as long as they finish level on points with Dortmund at the end of the night.

Borussia Dortmund's Thorgan Hazard will be hoping to celebrate progress to the last-16

Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard will be hoping to celebrate progress to the last-16

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku and boss Antonio Conte stand in their path, however

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku and boss Antonio Conte stand in their path, however

And the equation for Dortmund is that they must collect more points than Inter.

So Inter have their destiny in their own hands and it will be interesting to see if Barcelona field a weakened side at the San Siro.

Fixtures: Borussia Dortmund vs Slavia Prague (8pm, BT Sport Extra 2); Inter Milan vs Barcelona (8pm, BT Sport ESPN) 

Barcelona are already through... but will Inter Milan or Borussia Dortmund be joining them?

Barcelona are already through… but will Inter Milan or Borussia Dortmund be joining them?

GROUP G: All four teams with plenty to play for

This has proved a well-matched group. RB Leipzig are already through to the last-16 and will secure first place if they draw with or beat Lyon in France.

Zenit and Lyon are locked together on seven points, with the Russians currently second by virtue of their better head-to-head record. Zenit beat Lyon 2-0 at home and drew 1-1 away.

Therefore, Zenit will go through if they beat Benfica in Portugal and Lyon do not beat Leipzig. Or if both games are draws, they will make it on head-to-head record.

Zenit's win over Lyon late last month gives them the slight advantage entering matchday six

Zenit’s win over Lyon late last month gives them the slight advantage entering matchday six

Lyon would progress with a win over Leipzig and also clinch first place because they won 2-0 in Germany earlier in the group.

Lyon can also afford to draw so long as Zenit lose to Benfica.

And to cap an intriguing situation, Benfica are unable to finish in the top two but can still finish third and make the Europa League if they beat Zenit by a scoreline better than 3-1 and Lyon do not lose, or if they win by any score and Lyon lose to Leipzig.

Fixtures: Benfica vs Zenit St Petersburg (8pm, BT Sport Extra 5); Lyon vs RB Leipzig (8pm, BT Sport Extra 4) 

Group G has proved an exciting one with RB Leipzig through and Zenit and Lyon striving

Group G has proved an exciting one with RB Leipzig through and Zenit and Lyon striving 

WEDNESDAY

GROUP A: Just Europa place to play for

Group A is pretty much settled. We know Paris Saint-Germain will top the group and Real Madrid are through in second.

Club Brugge will finish third and keep their European season alive if they beat Madrid at home or if Galatasaray fail to beat PSG.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have already booked their spots in the last-16

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have already booked their spots in the last-16

But Galatasaray can make the Europa League spot if they beat PSG and Brugge draw with or lose to Real.

Fixtures: Club Brugge vs Real Madrid (8pm, BT Sport ESPN); Paris Saint-Germain vs Galatasaray (8pm; BT Sport Extra 4) 

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have already safely made it through from Group A

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have already safely made it through from Group A

GROUP B: Tottenham head to Munich with qualification assured

Group B is also settled by and large, with Bayern Munich destined to finish first and Tottenham definitely second. That makes their meeting at the Allianz Arena something of a dead rubber.

The Europa League spot will be contested between Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos, who meet in Greece.

Tottenham will be keen to enact some revenge on Bayern after losing 7-2 at home in October

Tottenham will be keen to enact some revenge on Bayern after losing 7-2 at home in October

Red Star, currently in third and two points ahead, need to avoid defeat to finish there.

Fixtures: Bayern Munich vs Tottenham Hotspur (8pm, BT Sport 2); Olympiakos vs Red Star Belgrade (8pm; BT Sport Extra 5) 

Bayern Munich face Tottenham with both teams safe in the knowledge they've qualified

Bayern Munich face Tottenham with both teams safe in the knowledge they’ve qualified 

GROUP C: Scrap to follow Man City through

Manchester City are set to finish top of Group C and travel to Dinamo Zagreb to conclude their group stage campaign.

But it’s a case of three-into-one won’t fit behind them as Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo and Atalanta fight for the second spot.

Shakhtar will go through if they beat Atalanta or if they draw and Dinamo fail to win.

Raheem Sterling and Manchester City travel to Croatia knowing they've already finished first

Raheem Sterling and Manchester City travel to Croatia knowing they’ve already finished first

Dinamo need to beat City to make it but also need Shakhtar not to beat Atalanta.

And Atalanta need to beat Shakhtar in Ukraine and need Dinamo not to beat Man City.

Fixtures: Dinamo Zagreb vs Manchester City (5.55pm, BT Sport 3); Shakhtar Donetsk vs Atalanta (5.55pm, BT Sport 1) 

Manchester City have already qualified and one of the other three teams will accompany them

Manchester City have already qualified and one of the other three teams will accompany them

GROUP D: Atletico with work to do

Juventus have already secured their passage into the last-16, but Atletico Madrid are facing a fight with Bayer Leverkusen to join them.

Atletico should still make it as they host the already-eliminated Lokomotiv Moscow and they’ll be fine if Juventus do them a favour and beat Leverkusen.

Juventus have already made it through but Atletico Madrid aren't quite over the line yet

Juventus have already made it through but Atletico Madrid aren’t quite over the line yet

Leverkusen need to beat Juventus and hope that Atletico do not beat Lokomotiv.

Fixtures: Atletico Madrid vs Lokomotiv Moscow (8pm, BT Sport 3); Bayer Leverkusen vs Juventus (8pm, BT Sport Extra 2)

Juventus have won Group D but Atletico have work to do in order to follow them through

Juventus have won Group D but Atletico have work to do in order to follow them through

 

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