Tue, Dec 6, 12:38pm by Senior Writer
The final round of Champions League group matches see just four places up for grabs in the final 16, with 12 teams have already secured their passage through to the knockout rounds.
In a somewhat anti-climactic finish to the Group stage, just three of the eight groups are live, with Group B, to be played Wednesday morning AEDT, by far the most intriguing.
Napoli, Benfica and Besiktas are fighting it out for two spots, with Benfica and Napoli on eight points and Besiktas a point behind.
Benfica ($2.50) host Napoli ($2.70) in Portugal with a win for either team good enough for them to progress. However, a draw ($3.40) complicates things somewhat. It comes down initially on head to head, and given Napoli won the first game between the two, then they would finish above Benfica.
Both teams will go through regardless should Besiktas ($2.30) fail to get a point away to Dynamo Kiev ($3.10). Besiktas will go through with a win, while a draw ($3.30) would only see them progress if Napoli lose.
It’s a lot more clear-cut in the other two ‘live’ groups, with a straight two-fold battle for the second spot in both Group G and Group H.
In Group G, with Leicester already assured of top spot, Porto need a result against the Foxes on Thursday morning if they are to stop Copenhagen leap-frogging them.
Porto are $1.30 against Leicester ($11), who will have no incentive to put out their best team. A draw ($5.20) will not be enough to assure Porto’s progress, with Copenhagen ($2) away to Club Brugge ($3.60) and needing a win.
Group H, also to be played Thursday AEDT, sees Lyon and Sevilla go head to head for the final spot. Lyon are $2.40 to win the match, but are $5.40 to progress as they need to win by two goals or more to get above the Spanish team. Sevilla are $2.87 to take the three points, and keep the pressure on Juventus at the top, with Juve at $1.14 to beat Dynamo Zagreb and ensure they finish top.
And that’s the other thing at play in this weekend matches. Finishing top in the group ensures you receive a seeding and can’t play any of the other top teams.
Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Monaco and Leicester are assured of top spots, but the remaining groups are up for grabs.
Arsenal are $6.35 to win their Group, despite being level on points to PSG. PSG, who are $1.08 to top Group A, host Ludogorets, while the Gunners travel to Basel. Those matches are all Wednesday morning.
The most fascinating battle for the top spot is in Group F, where 11-time champions Real Madrid need to beat Borussia Dortmund at the Bernabeu in order to finish top. Real are $1.91 to do just that, while Dortmund are $1.89 to get the draw or win they need to top the group.
Benfica v Napoli
Dynamo Kiev v Besiktas
Dynamo Kiev 3.10
FC Basel v Arsenal
FC Basel 3.50
PSG v Ludogorets Razgrad
Ludogorets Razgrad $17.00
Barcelona v Borussia Monchengladbach
Borussia Monchengladbach $8.00
PSV v FK Rostov
FK Rostov $5.00
Man City v Celtic
Man City $1.36
Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid
Bayern Munich $1.61
Atletico Madrid $5.50
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid $1.91
Borussia Dortmund $3.80
Tottenham v CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow $6.50
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon
Legia Warsaw $4.50
Sporting Lisbon $1.73
Bayer Leverkusen v Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen $1.80
Club Brugge v FC Copenhagen
Club Brugge $3.60
FC Copenhagen $2.00
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb
Dinamo Zagreb $21.00
Porto v Leicester
Lyon v Sevilla
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