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Champions League permutations: What Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Spurs must do to progress

10:46 pm, 7th November 2018

There were mixed fortunes for the Premier League teams on Matchday Four this week, with home wins for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City over PSV Eindhoven and Shakhtar Donetsk, a memorable away win for Manchester United at Juventus but a defeat for Liverpool at Red Star Belgrade

All four Premier League clubs all have work to do if they want to be in the hat for December’s draw for the knockout stages.

This is exactly what Liverpool, Tottenham, City and United must do to reach the Champions League knockout stage…

Group B

  • Tottenham have to beat Inter Milan at home on Matchday Five to stay in the competition
  • If Tottenham beat Inter by better than 2-1 – the score when the sides met on Matchday One – they can progress on head to head by matching Inter’s result at home to PSV when they travel to already-qualified Barcelona on Matchday Six
  • However, if Tottenham beat Inter by worse than 2-1 – eg, 3-2, meaning the Italians would have scored more away goals – they would need to better their result in the final round of games
  • If Tottenham beat Inter 2-1, they must match Inter’s result on Matchday Six and record a better overall goal difference

Group C

  • Liverpool will qualify with a game to spare if they win at PSG and Red Star fail to beat Napoli in Naples on Matchday Five
  • If Liverpool lose in Paris and Napoli fail to beat Red Star, they will qualify for the round of 16 if they beat the Italians by any score on Matchday Six
  • If Liverpool lose in Paris and Napoli beat Red Star on Matchday Five, they will definitely qualify if they beat the Italians by a scoreline of better than 1-0 on Matchday Six as that will give them a better overall head-to-head record between the two
  • If Liverpool lose in Paris and Napoli beat Red Star on Matchday Five, then Liverpool beat Napoli and PSG draw at Red Star on Matchday Six, all three sides will finish on nine points. In that scenario, points in head-to-head matches, followed by goal difference, would be used to separate the teams

Group F

  • Manchester City are on the verge of qualification after confirmation was delayed with Hoffenheim’s late leveller at Lyon
  • They need a point from their last two games to qualify for the last 16 stage, sitting three points ahead of Lyon
  • They can also secure top spot against Lyon with a victory in MD5.

Group H

  • Following United’s win in Turin, paired with Valencia’s victory at home to Young Boys on Matchday Four, Group H was blown wide open.
  • If United beat Young Boys on MD5, and Valencia lose or even draw at Juventus, United will be through to the knockout stages.
  • If United draw or lose against Young Boys and Valencia lose or draw, they will still just need a point at the Mestalla on MD6.
  • United can finish top of the group, sitting two points behind leaders Juventus. If United win their last two games and Juventus drop points in either of their last two games, United reach the knockout stages as winners and will have a favourable seeded draw.