Matchday 6 Build-up
As spectators to the world’s most popular sport, excitement and anticipation cannot grow any stronger since we are set to witness direct head to head battles for qualification, a three-way skirmish in the group of death, and an all out war among the four teams in Group B. While Bayern and Chelsea won their respective groups, the other six groups’ winners are going to be shaped from top to bottom by Wednesday evening.
If you missed it, it is worth going back to check on NMA’s UCL Matchday 6 Preview. My fellow author and UCL expert Prakhar has also given us his insights on MD6 players picks, and David shared his plan for triggering the Limitless chip and needs everyone’s help!
What does every team need to achieve its objective?
As promised, NMA will discuss and explore all possible qualification scenarios as a change of pace instead of the usual bloggers’ interviews. After reading this section of the article, we will all know who is qualifying and who is dropping out as soon as any goal is scored during MD6.
- Bayern Munchen - 13 Points
- Atletico Madrid - 6 Points
- Salzburg - 4 Points
- Lokomotiv Moscow - 3 Points
Bayern won the group in MD4, more than 6 points clear of runners-up Atletico Madrid. The Spanish outfit will need only to draw at Salzburg to book a place in the round of 16. Salzburg cannot afford any scenario but victory over Atletico Madrid to take the second spot in Group A. In order to qualify for Europa League, Lokomotiv Moscow must collect all three points from Bayern and hope Salzburg drops points.
- Borussia Monchengladbach - 8 Points
- Shakhtar Donetsk - 7 Points
- Real Madrid - 7 Points
- Inter Milan - 5 Points
The group leaders qualify and win the group with a win against Real Madrid regardless of any other result. They can also win the group with a draw if Inter Milan defeats Shakhtar Donetsk. It is also possible for the Germans to qualify with ‘head to head tie breaker’ at 8 points after losing to Real Madrid if Shakhtar and Inter Milan draw.
If Real Madrid defeats B. Monchengladbach, Shakhtar can win the group only by defeating Inter Milan. Shakhtar can qualify with a draw if Real Madrid drops points. Shakhtar losing can only drop them to Europa League if Real Madrid loses as well or dropping out completely if Real Madrid does not lose.
Real Madrid cannot afford any result but a victory to keep matters in their own hands. They have a chance to qualify with a draw only if Inter Milan defeats Shakhtar. A loss would mean Real Madrid will continue in the Europa League regardless of any other result.
Inter Milan is the only team in the group that needs to look at the other match result. Firstly, Inter must win against Shakhtar Donetsk. Then the other match must not end in a draw, since Inter has the upper hand against B. Monchengladbach and would have more points than Real Madrid if the opposite takes place.
- Manchester City - 13 Points
- Porto - 10 Points
- Olympiacos - 3 Points
- Marseille - 3 Points
The only unresolved business in this group is deciding which of the 3-point teams will qualify to the Europa League. Olympiacos will host Porto with better odds than Marseille at Manchester City.
- Liverpool - 12 Points
- Atalanta - 8 Points
- Ajax - 7 Points
- Midtjylland - 1 Points
We will have a classic direct struggle when well rested Atalanta (cancelled match during the weekend) travels to the Netherlands looking to avoid defeat in order to secure second spot in the round of 16. Ajax will go all out for the glory of qualification.
- Chelsea - 13 Points
- Sevilla - 10 Points
- Krasnodar - 4 Points
- Rennes - 1 Points
This group rankings will remain the same regardless of MD6 results considering the head to head tie breakers are in Chelsea favor over Sevilla, and Kranodar’s hold over Rennes.
- Dortmund - 10 Points
- Lazio - 9 Points
- Club Brugge - 7 Points
- Zenit - 1 Point
Dortmund wins the group automatically with a victory over Zenit. A draw would see them win the group if Lazio does not win, while a loss would also award them the group lead only if Lazio falls against Club Brugge. Lazio needs to avoid defeat at all costs to secure qualification. Club Brugge cannot qualify without a victory.
- Barcelona - 15 Points
- Juventus - 12 Points
- Dynamo Kyiv - 1 Point
- Ferencvaros - 1 Point
Barcelona will remain as group winners with any result except losing by more than one goal, or losing by a one goal margin in a 3-2 or higher result. The opposite applies to Juventus. Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros drew in their first tie, and Dynamo will have the advantage at home since a goalless draw is enough to see them through to the Europa League.
- PSG - 9 Points
- Manchester United - 9 Points
- RB Leipzig - 9 Points
- Istanbul Basaksehir - 3 Points
To understand this group in a simple way, we need to establish that PSG has the upper hand over Manchester United and RB Leipzig if they end up with the same points. Therefore PSG would win the group by defeating the Turkish side at home. Manchester United had a huge first-leg victory over RB Leipzig, so a draw is enough to see them through to the round of 16. RB Leipzig can only qualify with a win over United or a draw if Istanbul Basaksehir pulls a surprise and defeats PSG.
Crazy Monday - Injury/suspension/participation Updates
Another round of updates! Keep and eye on @NMA_Blog on Twitter for any updates during the day and give us your opinion on which team is more likely to drop to the Europa League from the “group of death”:
- Atletico Madrid: Gimenez picked a muscle injury, joining Douglas Costa in the doubful area. Herrera, Torreira and Suarez should make their comebacks this weekend in La Liga.
- Borussia M: Elvedi missed the weekend match and the loss against Inter due to a minor muscle injury; his availability is being assessed. Left-back Ramy could return to the starting line-up subject to returning a negative COVID-19 test; Hofmann remains sidelined.
- Inter Milan: Vidal returns from suspension but is not expected to start.
- Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos is expected to return to the starting XI against Monchengladbach. Hazard and Valverdi are yet to recover from their injuries, while Carvajal is doubtful.
- Ajax: Kudus remains the only long term injury for Ajax joined by Nerer as of last week. Mazroui the right back is doubtful.
- Atalanta: Malinovskyi is back after producing a negative test results, but Miranchuk remains positive. Gollini was named as the starting goalkeeper against Udenisi before the match was cancelled due to pitch condition. Pasalic remains injured. Gosens tested positive on the weekend, but that proved to be a false positive; there are still doubts whether the Italian authorities will allow him to travel.
- Dortmund: Many players are missing the match
- Lazio: The COVID-19 testing confusion around the Italian club seems to have cleared out, and all players in question have featured for Lazio in recent matches. Center-back Patric is the only notable injury.
- Barcelona: Pique and Ansu Fati are the only long term injuries for the Catalan club. In addition here is the news about Dembele:
- Juventus: Demiral and Chiellini are still injured and were not named in the traveling squad. Buffon is back, and Pirlo said that he “may” start.
- Manchester United: Pogba is back from injury; he was subbed in against PSG in midweek and started on the weekend (netting a goal even). Shaw remains doubtful, and Fred is suspended. Ole in his pre-match press conference confirmed that Cavani and Martial would miss the match against Leipzig due to injuries. Fred is suspended.
- PSG: Icardi and Draxler are nearing recovery, while Bernat is the only long term injury for the club. Tuchel raised concerns for Kimpembe’s foot pain which could stop him from playing against Istanbul basaksehir.
- RB Leipzig: Nkunku featured against Bayern in the weekend and scored the opening goal of the 3-3 draw. Upamecano is suspended
Keep an eye on the comments section for any updates on reported injuries before today’s deadline. Good luck to everyone!
How’s your team faring? Have you been hit by any of the missing players? Do you have any tactical questions? And which matches do you plan / wish to watch as a fan? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!