With only one round of matches remaining in the Champions League group stage, eight of the 16 teams that will advance to the knockout rounds have already been determined, while eight spots will be determined on the tournament’s final pool play matchday.
European giants like Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona are already assured of going through, while Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan are among the teams that still have work to do heading into their final matches.
Liverpool Disappoints in Napoli Draw
Several teams failed to capitalize on chances to qualify for the Round of 16 on Wednesday. That included defending champions Liverpool, which was only able to secure a 1-1 draw at home against Napoli. The result leaves Liverpool at 10 points, ahead of both Napoli (nine) and Red Bull Salzburg (seven), meaning it may still need a draw in its final match at Salzburg to secure advancement to the knockout stages.
“It was clear that we wanted to finish it tonight,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said after the match. “We know long before the game that it would be difficult against Napoli. It was difficult last year, it’s always difficult. They’re a good side.”
Liverpool is the favorite to win Group E, with FanDuel Sportsbook giving them -170 odds of taking the top spot. Napoli is a +110 choice to lead the group, while Red Bull Salzburg (+4200) could still find its way to first pace with an upset victory at home vs. Liverpool on Dec. 10.
Chelsea, Valencia Both in Danger After 2-2 Draw
Fellow English side Chelsea are in even more danger after a 2-2 draw at Valencia on Wednesday. Both sides are now on eight points, while Ajax leads Group H with 10. Two of those three teams will go through to the Champions League knockout stage.
“Did I love the match? No, I didn’t love it,” Lampard said about the draw. “Because it hasn’t been too many times this season where I have had to say ‘we kind of got away with that.’ Today was one of those because they missed big opportunities.”
Ajax will host Valencia on Dec. 10, while Chelsea will play group bottom feeders Lille. Given their two-point edge, Ajax is a -190 favorite to win the group ahead of Valencia (+320) and Chelsea (+360).
Champions League Round of 16 Qualifiers*
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Real Madrid
- Bayern Munich
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester City
- RB Leipzig
*Eight knockout stage positions still to be claimed
The only other group that is still up for grabs is Group G, where RB Leipzig (-160) has already clinched advancement to the knockout stage. However, Lyon (+105) could still steal the top spot in the pool from them if they score a win at home vs. Leipzig in their final game.
Defending EPL champion Manchester City – which has already won Group C – is now the favorite to win the Champions League, with FanDuel listing the Citizens at +280 to lift the trophy. Barcelona (+650), Liverpool (+650), and PSG (+700) are also among the favorites to claim the 2019-2020 European title.