The Ins & Outs & Ins of Champions League Knockouts QualificationBy: The Offside | November 24th, 2009
Isn’t it nice to see a compilation/trailer with a soundtrack which isn’t a thumping pop song which leaves one wanting for a wounded cow in labor? Or any song by Fort Minor?
This is the game of the day for Tuesday, and arguably the game of the week. Until this weekend, at least, when that quasi-friendly knowns as El Clasico takes place. Quite the week for Barcelona, eh?
But they’re not the only ones with important matters this week, so we’ll take a quick rundown of who stands to gain what and who needs to get crackin’ or risk a one-way trip to the Europa League.
Before we get off into the formalities, how things stand in the tables:
(Home teams first.)
Bordeaux v Juventus
Maccabi v Bayern
If Juventus win, Bayern are out. If Bayern lose, they are out. If both games draw, Bayern are out. In other words, it’s not looking good for Bavarian teams this week.
Also worth noting that while the world is focused on Bayern in Group A, a Bordeaux win nets them the group and a first seed for the knockout draw. A much desired spot, that.
In: Man Utd
CSKA v Wolfsburg
ManU v Besiktas
Wolfsburg win/draw, they’re through. Otherwise it’s all left to play for on the final day. The other game is merely for those concerned with such trivialities as final positioning and The Artist Formerly Known As The UEFA Cup.
Madrid v Zurich
Milan v Marseille
Milan and Madrid go through with wins, otherwise this turns into an uber-excellent clusterfuck for the final day. Here’s to hoping for a Swiss Bernabeu upset.
In: Chelsea, Porto
Out: Atletico, APOEL
Porto v Chelsea
APOEL v Atletico
Despite the fact that the participants and nonparticipants alike have been decided, Porto trail Chelsea and APOEL fall behind Atletico by one point apiece. It’s all about positioning – Rinus Michels would be thrilled.
Debrecen v Liverpool
Fiorentina v Lyon
Liverpool need a win to stay alive, and even then they’ll need Lyon to at least take a point. And despite being already qualified, uefa points out something mighty important:
Opponents Lyon are already through, yet promised no let-up as they look to avoid the same pitfall as last season when a second-placed finish left them with a last-16 tie against FC Barcelona, the eventual winners.
Winning the group is the new Champions League trophy. Just as swine flu is the new broken metatarsal.
Barcelona v Inter
Rubin v Dynamo
Speaking of swine flu, Barcelona have it (well, Abidal and Yaya). And they won’t have Messi. Or Zlatan. (Highly unlikely, anyway.) And if they lose while Rubin wins, the unthinkable will happen: Barcelona become instant Europa League favorites. The scenarios:
- Inter go through with a win.
- Rubin go through with a win and a Dynamo loss.
- Dynamo are eliminated with a loss.
- Barcelona are eliminated if they lose and Rubin win. (Rubin hold the tie-breaker.)
* – Eric Abidal is a saboteur in disguise. All the red cards in important games? And now he brings swine flu to the Barcelona locker room during what is essentially a must win game and the week before El Clasico? Who’s paying him off?
Unirea Urziceni v Sevilla
Rangers v Stuttgart
Only one can pass Go: a U2 win and a Stuttgart loss means the Romanians are through. That this group is finishing off with a toothless Stuttgart, broken Rangers and U2 means I’m finding it difficult to care a great deal, despite a Romanian Cinderella.
Arsenal v Standard
AZ v Olympiacos
Arsenal can go through by merely not losing to Belgians at the Emirates. AZ can be eliminated by merely not winning at home. Olympiacos can qualify if they win and Standard don’t pull off the major upset. Rife with tantalizing possibilities, but I gather all eyes on this day will be cast to a Catalonian night.
Detailed standings and such can be found here.