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UCL MD-6 Fantasy Preview & Difficulty Matrix

Six more teams clinched in MD-5, leaving only four spots up for grabs

UEFA Champions League 2023-24 Group-A Team Jerseys Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The last match-day of the group stage is upon us, and only four spots in the Round of 16 remain unclaimed. This means that four groups are concluded with some qualifying teams playing either to retain the top spot or overtake it. Less fortunate teams will be playing for Europa League qualification.

The climax of “group of death” promises of a dramatic ending as PSG must defeat Dortmund to secure qualification and nick the top spot from their opponents in one fell swoop, which would leave Newcastle and AC Milan to fight for only a Europa League spot. A draw or a loss for PSG means knockout qualification becomes complex.

The details of each group qualification chances for each team are outlined below in each group’s preview. Stay tuned for the player picks and RMT articles dropping tomorrow before the live chat on Tuesday for the latest team news. To help us analyze the qualification chances for each team, here are the tie breakers when two or more teams have the same total points at the end of the group stage:

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among the tied teams
  2. Goal difference in head-to head matches among the tied teams
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams
  4. Goal difference in all group matches
  5. Goals scored in all group matches

There are more tiebreakers, but it usually does not go beyond #5.


FC Bayern München v SV Darmstadt 98 - Bundesliga Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

GROUP A

Bayern (13 points) - Copenhagen (5 point) - Galatasaray (5 points) - Man United (4 points)

Draws across the board in MD-5 meant the group rankings remain the same ahead of MD-6 matches. Copenhagen hosts Galatasaray for a direct qualification showdown. Simple: A winner takes the second qualification spot in group A. Copenhagen and Galatasary drew 2-2 in MD-1 which means a draw in MD-6 will favor the Danish club since they have a -1 goal difference in all group matches compared to Galataray’s -2.

Man United have only one way to qualify and that is to defeat Bayern while the other match ends in a draw. If none of those results happen, then United’s Champions League campaign is over, but Europa League is still possible with a win over Bayern. The joker in the deck is that Bayern has locked the top spot, so the Germans may rest and rotate.


Luton Town v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

GROUP B

Arsenal (12 points) - PSV (8 point) - Lens (5 points) - Sevilla (2 points)

Arsenal and PSV secured qualification in MD-5 by defeating Lens and Sevilla respectively. PSV already has the upper hand against Lens in head-to-head points, so a loss for the Dutch and a win for the French will not make a difference in the qualification. Also, since the gap between Arsenal and PSV is more than three points, it means the match result will have no impact on the table rankings. Hopefully we can see some young talent given some minutes to impress.

Lens will host Sevilla in MD-6 and will need a win or a draw to retain the Europa League spot since both teams drew 1-1 in MD-1. A win for Sevilla means the Spaniards will rejoin their favorite European competition.

The two matches in this group will be the early kickoffs on Tuesday, so they’ll give us our only four confirmed lineups for this most uncertain match-day.


Real Betis v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

GROUP C

Real Madrid (15 points) - Napoli (7 points) - Braga (4 points) - Union Berlin (2 points)

Real Madrid punished Napoli once again in MD-5 to win the group. Napoli was lucky as Braga and Union Berlin drew in MD-5 for the Italians to retain a healthy three-point gap.

Napoli hosts Braga in MD-6 looking for a win or a draw to advance. A win for Braga with 2+ goals difference means Napoli will make way for the Portuguese club to join the Round of 16. This also means that a one goal difference win for Braga is enough for Napoli to retain the qualification spot with a better goal difference record in all group matches.

Union Berlin gave up on UCL after MD-5 draw with Braga so will hope for a non-interested Madrid side to come into play to be able to win (maybe) and hope for a favor from Napoli to pin Braga at 4 points to take over the Europa League qualification spot.


Real Sociedad v FC Internazionale: Group D - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

GROUP D

Real Sociedad (11 points) - Inter (11 points) - Salzburg (4 points) - Benfica (1 points)

Benfica won its first point in the group stage in MD-5 with draws in all matches. Qualification to the round of 16 was already decided in MD-4 for this group for Real Sociedad and Inter. All that remains is the clash for the top spot between the qualified clubs. Real Sociedad will win the group with either a win or a draw in Milan. The Italians need a win to go top and avoid strong opposition in the next round.

Benfica can salvage their European season with a 3 or more goal difference win over Salzburg on the latter team stadium grounds. Any other result will see the Austrians into the Europa League knockout stages.


SS Lazio v Atletico Madrid: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Domenico Cippitelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

GROUP E

Atletico (11 points) - Lazio (10 points) - Feyenoord (6 points) - Celtic (1 points)

Atletico and Lazio victories in MD-5 over Feyenoord and Celtic respectively qualified both teams. In MD-6, Atletico hosts Lazio to play for the group’s top spot. Atletico needs a win or draw to win the group, so only a win will be enough for Lazio.

The Europa League (knockout stages) qualification spot is already secure for Feyenoord, which means Celtic vs Feyenoord is best used to give reserves and young talents a run-out to experience the Champions League.


Paris Saint-Germain v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

GROUP F

Dortmund (10 point) - PSG (7 points) - AC Milan (5 points) - Newcastle (5 points)

The group of death has been a roller coaster of highs and lows and top tier entertainment except for the controversial refereeing decision in MD-5 that favored PSG. Dortmund secured qualification in MD-5 by defeating Milan 3-1. The Germans host Paris and must avoid a loss to win the group. A win for PSG will send the Parisians into top spot, leaving Milan and Newcastle playing for Europa League only.

There are more ways for PSG to qualify in 2nd place with a draw or even a loss — If the Parisians draw at Dortmund, then a Newcastle win nicks 2nd, dropping Paris to Europa League; any other result in the other match will be enough for them to qualify. They can also qualify despite losing if Milan and Newcastle draw.

For Newcastle, the qualification conditions are to defeat AC Milan and for PSG to either lose or draw against Dortmund. Newcastle has the upper hand in head-to-head points against PSG, which could be the difference maker at the end of the day.

For AC Milan, the qualification conditions are to defeat Newcastle and see PSG lose. PSG has the upper hand in head-to-head goal difference.


Aston Villa v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

GROUP G

Man City (15 points) - RB Leipzig (9 points) - Young Boys (4 points) - Crvena zvezda (1 points)

Group-G settled all accounts in MD-5 when Man City defeated RB Leipzig 3-2 to win the group, leaving the already qualified German side locked in second place. Also, Young Boys defeated Crvena (Belgrade) 2-0 to secure Europa League qualification.

In MD-6, Belgrade hosts Man City, and RB Leipzig hosts Young Boys in stress free matches with a huge chance to see new names taking the field for the first time in all four sides.


GROUP H

FC Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Porto: Group H - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Selim Sudheimer/Getty Images

Barcelona (12 points) - Porto (9 points) - Shakhtar Donetsk (9 points) - Antwerp (0 points)

Barcelona’s comeback in MD-5 to defeat Porto 2-1 secured qualification. Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Antwerp as well to remain in the fight for the second qualification spot.

In MD-6, Porto hosts Shakhtar Donetsk. Thanks to a 3-1 victory in MD-1, Porto starts with a head-to-head point advantage so is looking for at least a draw to advance. The Ukrainian champions need a win to join Barcelona in the round of 16.

Barcelona has not won the group yet. Porto has no chance to win the group since Barcelona defeated them twice, but Shakhtar and Barcelona are tied in all head-to-head tie breakers. So in an unlikely MD-6 scenario that sees Barcelona lose to Antwerp while Shakhtar defeats Porto by at least 7 goals, Shakhtar goes top. As I said, it is unlikely, but the door has not been locked.


Difficulty Matrix

The following difficulty tables are subjective and do not rely on specific criteria, but we hope they’ll serve as a simple guide to help readers navigate the group stages and plan for chips.


How is your UCL fantasy squad looking? Are you planning to play a chip in MD-6? (Limitless is very popular right now!) Do you have any questions for the community? Please log in and post in the comments below!

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