Europe - Champions League - Group Stage

Champions League Live Stream

With the November international break behind us, the UEFA Champions League is back with Match Day 4, the one at the end of which some teams may have already secured a place in the last 16 of the competition, mathematically, while others may have lost all hope for the top two spots, and be obliged to focus on finishing – at least – third, so as to continue in the Europa League knock-out stages.

In Group A, Bayern Munich are one of the only four teams out of all 32 in the group stage to have maintained a perfect record thus far, three wins in as many matches. Atlético Madrid missed an awesome opportunity in Moscow three weeks ago to pretty much secure the second spot, but with Lokomotiv traveling to Spain, Cholo Simeone’s team have a second chance to pretty much knock the Russian side out, and almost book their place in the last 16, as Salzburg don’t look strong enough to fight for a top two spot.

Group B is one of the… craziest ones we have enjoyed thus far, with outsiders Gladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk occupying the top two spots, and mega-powers Real Madrid and Inter Milan third and fourth respectively. Still, the distance between bottom-of-the-table Inter and leaders Gladbach is just three points, so anything could happen. Inter are hosting Real Madrid feeling they deserved better three weeks ago in Spain (lost 3-2), while Gladbach are taking on Shakhtar in Germany, probably still pinching themselves to believe they destroyed the Ukrainian side 0-6 in Kyiv earlier this month.

Group C had a clear favourite even before Match Day 1, and Manchester City have definitely delivered. It is one of those groups in which there seems to be a distinct difference between teams, City should finish first, Porto are the best of the rest of the bunch, and it will most probably come down to Marseille vs Olympiacos for a spot in the Europa League last 32. On Wednesday, City are visiting Olympiacos, while Porto will be searching for at least a draw in Marseille, to further boost their chances of finishing in the top two.

Group D is another case of a quartet that has a clear… boss, Liverpool, one of the four teams in the group stage on nine points from three matches. Ajax and Atalanta are on four each, “doomed” to fight for the second spot. Newbies (in the CL group stage) Midtjylland scored their first goal three weeks ago against Ajax, and despite still searching for their first point, their young players must be enjoying every minute of this, playing against such rivals. Liverpool are hosting Atalanta on Wednesday, and Midtjylland are traveling to Amsterdam, with Ajax keeping their fingers crossed Liverpool won’t drop points.

Group E seems already split in two… sub-groups, with co-leaders Chelsea and Sevilla on seven points each, and Krasnodar with Rennes on just one point each. Mathematically, anything could happen in the three remaining Match Days, but… realistically, what is left to see is who will finish first and who second (Chelsea or Sevilla), and who will get the third spot that comes with a Europa League last 32 ticket. On Tuesday, Sevilla are visiting Krasnodar, and Chelsea get tested in France, against Rennes.

Group F promises much more… drama than Group E, as three teams look set to battle it out among them for the top two spots. Borussia Dortmund lost in Rome on their debut, but have gone on to win both games since then. Lazio are on five points, still undefeated, Club Brugge on four, with Zenit at the bottom of the table, on just one point. Again, mathematically, anything could happen in the last three Match Days, but Zenit will need something special to climb up to the top two. Only two points separate leaders Dortmund from third-placed Club Brugge, who are actually traveling to Germany on Tuesday, while Lazio will be hosting Zenit.

Group G has the fourth/last team that are yet to drop points in this group stage, Barcelona, who may have done poorly in La Liga thus far this season, but in the CL group they couldn’t have done better (at least gathering points-wise. Their performance against Dynamo Kyiv at Camp Nou three weeks ago left a lot to be desired, and were rather lucky to win 2-1, with their goalkeeper having some… miraculous saves). The group has a second clear favourite, Juventus, on six points. The Bianconeri will only miss out on a last-16 ticket if they shoot their own foot. Dynamo and Ferencvaros are on one point each, and their target is clear, earn that third spot that will guarantee them international football in the first half of 2021 as well, albeit in the Europa League.

Last but not least, Group H was one we either way expected to be among the most interesting ones, with Manchester United, PSG, but also RB Leipzig. Three weeks ago it turned even more interesting, when United got embarrassed in Istanbul, losing 2-1 to Basaksehir. United and Leipzig are on six points each, PSG on just three, Basaksehir as well. The Turks have every right to be dreaming of… even bigger things, even though, if they end up finishing third or even fourth it won’t be a real failure, given whom they have in the same group. Third of fourth WOULD be a massive failure, a failure impossible to put in words, for PSG, who need to get their act together this and the next two weeks, or else…

Regardless of whom you support, you have definitely enjoyed football thus far in the CL group stage, with 156 goals scored in 48 matches, meaning 3.25 per game. Bayern have scored 12, more than any other team. On the other hand, Liverpool and Chelsea are yet to concede.

Enjoy Match Day 4.