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Champions League: What each English side needs to qualify

We’ve reached a crucial juncture in the UEFA Champions League’s group stages as Europe’s elite battle it out to reach the knockout rounds.

Just six teams have confirmed their place in the last-16 as we head into the penultimate round of group games, with much to play for ahead of this week’s fixtures.

Here, we detail the state of play for each English team.

Manchester United

  1. Bayern Munich – 12 points
  2. FC Copenhagen – 4 points
  3. Galatasaray – 4 points
  4. Manchester United – 3 points

It’s been a disastrous campaign for Manchester United in Europe to date, with the Red Devils bottom of Group A heading into the final two fixtures. A costly collapse at FC Copenhagen last time out leaves Erik ten Hag’s team with much work to do, ahead of a tough trip to Galatasaray on Matchday 5.

Defeat would end Manchester United’s hopes of reaching the last-16, while a draw would require the Red Devils to beat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in their final fixture and hope results elsewhere go in their favour.

Manchester United have failed to win in three previous visits to Galatasaray, while the Turkish side have lost just two of eight home games with Premier League clubs in the Champions League era. Meanwhile, United have won just one of nine fixtures against Bayern Munich since beating the Germans in the 1999 final.

An uphill task awaits, but Ten Hag will hope his team can take heart from an improved run of results in the Premier League, after five wins from six league games.

Arsenal

  1. Arsenal – 9 points
  2. PSV Eindhoven – 5 points
  3. Lens – 5 points
  4. Sevilla – 4 points

Arsenal sit four points clear at the top of Group B and are assured of at least a place in the Europa League.

The Gunners will confirm their place in the knockout rounds with a draw at home to Lens on Matchday 5, while a win would seal progress as group winners. Topping the group would hand Arsenal the advantage of last-16 second leg at the Emirates, while a win this week would render the club’s trip to PSV Eindhoven on December 12 a dead-rubber for the north Londoners.

As we head into the congested festive period in the Premier League, the luxury to rotate for a midweek European game could be beneficial to the club’s title challenge.

Newcastle

  1. Borussia Dortmund – 7 points
  2. Paris Saint-Germain – 6 points
  3. AC Milan – 5 points
  4. Newcastle – 4 points

The pre-tournament Group of Death has lived up to its billing with none of the four teams having either qualified or been eliminated after four fixtures. Just three points separate fourth-placed Newcastle from group leaders Borussia Dortmund, who secured back-to-back wins over the Magpies to climb to the top of a competitive group.

Newcastle travel to face Paris Saint-Germain on Matchday 5 in a daunting trip for Eddie Howe’s side. PSG have not entirely convinced this season but enter the contest in red-hot form, having won six straight games in Ligue 1 with 20 goals scored.

The Parisians thrashed Monaco 5-2 at the weekend and have been flawless on home soil in the Champions League this season, beating both Dortmund and Milan without conceding a goal. Defeat for Newcastle in Paris would eliminate Howe’s side from the competition.

Newcastle host AC Milan at St James’ Park in their final fixture.

Manchester City

  1. Manchester City – 12 points
  2. RB Leipzig – 9 points
  3. Red Star Belgrade – 1 point
  4. Young Boys – 1 point

Four wins from four have eased the holders into the knockout rounds and all that is left to be decided for the Citizens in Group G is who progresses as winners.

City host RB Leipzig on Matchday 5, with both teams already confirmed entrants into the last-16. Pep Guardiola’s side will assure first place in the group by avoiding defeat to the Bundesliga side.

City will start as overwhelming favourites, having gone unbeaten in 24 games at the Etihad in 2023, with last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool the only time Guardiola’s side have failed to win on home soil this calendar year. The two teams met in last season’s Round of 16, with City winning the home leg 7-0 after a 1-1 draw in Germany.

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