Champions League 2020/21 groups state of play: who’s already qualified and which big teams are most at risk?
With three of the eight groups already determined, the Champions League has unofficially entered the knockout phase.
Obviously we still have the second batch of matchday six fixtures left to play, including PSG’s postponed showdown with Istanbul Basaksehir, which makes it the perfect time to check in on the state of play: who has already qualified? And whose European adventure ends here (or continues in the Europa League)?
To help sort out what is what, we’ve assessed the current climate in the groups and laid everything out for you here, who’s qualified, who’s at risk, who the major stat leaders are. All laid out along with each side’s SBK percentage odds of winning the competition.
*Odds correct as of 16:00 on 09/12/2020. You have to be 18+ and GambleAware to sign up to SBK.
Bayern Munich: Group A (13 points) | SBK odds: 23.26%
The powerhouse of Europe right now, Bayern Munich are basically unstoppable as defending champions. They won every single game on their way to picking up the trophy last season and despite their reserves being held by Atlético Madrid they are looking similarly red hot at the moment.
Manchester City: Group C (13 points) | SBK odds: 17.86%
Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues have always excelled at group stages, so it’s no surprise that they’re through already and as group winners, too. They’ve played well and like Bayern only dropped points once their qualification was already assured. The big question for Pep’s men is: can they carry this momentum forwards into the knockouts?
Liverpool: Group D (12 points) | SBK odds: 13.16%
The Reds were dethroned in quite incredible fashion last season by Atlético Madrid and Jurgen Klopp’s men are out to get their trophy back. They’ve looked less imposing than they have done in the past, but despite losing Virgil van Dijk and basically all their entire back five at various stages, no Champions League team has more clean sheets this season so far (4). Their vast array of match-winners mean it’s hard to rule them out making it a third final in four years.
PSG: Group H (9 points) | SBK odds: 7.41%
The Parisians pulled off a monumental win at Old Trafford on matchday five, which all but guaranteed their progression to the knockouts, and with Man Utd enduring a first-half capitulation in Saxony and exiting the competition, their place in the last-16 has been sealed. Thomas Tuchel now has the chance to top the group when his side replay their fixture with Istanbul.
Chelsea: Group E (14 points) | SBK odds: 6.67%
The Blues have made light work of what looked like a tricky group and are through to the knockout rounds again, where they will want to do better than last time. They’re a quality side but their relative lack of experience explains their semi-outsider status.
Barcelona: Group G (15 points) | SBK odds: 6.06%
The Blaugrana have struggled mightily in La Liga and that form carried over to Europe on Tuesday as Juventus blitzed past them 3-0, ending their 38-game unbeaten run at the Camp Nou in the competition. They were flawless prior to that heavy loss, winning every single game and racking up a then competition high goal difference of +14, but the domestic troubles of Ronald Koeman’s tenure have now creeped over to Europe, and they will be hoping to recover in time for the knockouts.
Juventus: Group G (15 points) | SBK odds: 5.26%
Juve confirmed qualification a while back, but they managed to leapfrog Barca on the final game in that aforementioned thrashing in Catalonia, sealing first place thanks to the goalscoring prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the dextrous heroics of Gianluigi Buffon, who saved seven Lionel Messi shots on the night.
Borussia Dortmund: Group F (13 points) | SBK odds: 4.00%
Powered by Erling Haaland, Dortmund qualified on matchday five with a 1-1 draw with Lazio. And, Lucien Favre’s side finished first after coming from behind to beat Zenit in their final game, with Axel Witsel netting the winner against his former club.
Sevilla: Group E (13 points) | SBK odds: 2.63%
Many expected Sevilla to give Chelsea more of a match than they did but a draw and defeat was the best they could manage. Julen Lopetegui’s side did confirm their place in the knockouts on matchday four, though, as group runners-up.
RB Leipzig: Group H (12 points) | SBK odds: 2.17%
Despite a late revival from Man Utd, Julian Nagelsmann’s side held out in a five-goal thriller at the Red Bull Arena, securing a 3-2 win over the side that thrashed them 5-0 at Old Trafford. Last season’s semi-finalists were worthy winners on the night and will feel confident heading into the knockouts, having beaten each of their opponents at least once in Group H, including PSG.
Lazio: Group F (10 points) | SBK odds: 1.67%
Club Brugge hit the woodwork in the dying embers on Tuesday which would have knocked Lazio out of the competition and subsequently put them through instead. Alas, it was not to be, and Simone Inzaghi must now start to seriously improve his side’s form if they are to offer a serious threat in the last-16.
Porto: Group C (10 points) | SBK odds: 0.62%
A hard-fought draw against Man City in the last game confirmed Porto’s place in the Round of 16 as group runners-up. They’re not as explosive a side as they once were, but could make life tricky for someone.
The big teams at risk
Atlético Madrid: Group A (6 points) | SBK odds: 5.71%
In dramatic contrast to their incredible status in La Liga, Atleti have been awful in the Champions League. Getting thumped by Bayern Munich never helps but they’ve just not had the same edge. They’re in Austria on matchday six, where a draw will see them finish second and qualify.
Real Madrid: Group B (7 points) | SBK odds: 4.00%
Los Blancos have been diabolical so far this season but two wins against an even worse Inter Milan have given them hope. They need to better Shakhtar’s result, which means the safest cause of action is to go for the win against group leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. However, should they lose, Inter can also overtake them with three points. Can Zinedine Zidane’s veteran winners pull themselves out of the fire one last time?
Inter Milan: Group B (5 points) | SBK odds: 3.45%
Inter have been downright horrible in the Champions League and are bottom of Group B on merit, but thanks to the topsy-turvy nature of the group they could still make it through. They have to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at San Siro and then hope Gladbach can finish the job against Madrid in Germany. It’s unlikely, but given the way this group has gone anything could happen.
Atalanta: Group D (8 points) | SBK odds: 2.00%
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men travel to the Amsterdam Arena knowing that a draw will be enough see them qualify, but there’s no way they will play for a draw so the chances they could actually lose are very real.
Ajax: Group D (7 points) | SBK odds: 1.11%
It’s a straight shootout, winner-takes-all encounter in the Dutch capital, with two of the most attack-minded sides going head-to-head in a bid to join group winners Liverpool in the knockouts. Will either coach abandon their philosophies for eye-pleasing football in favour of a more pragmatic approach? Indeed, this one has all the ingredients for a fascinating showdown.
Champions League top scorers:
The goalscoring tables of the Champions League has usually been dominated by three men, but with Leo Messi having lost his scoring touch, Cristiano Ronaldo barely featuring and Robert Lewandowski oddly off-key, it’s finally the turn of other players to stand out and, typically, a whole host of players are gathered on similar numbers.
Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland and Alvaro Morata all share top spot though you suspect if Haaland had played matchday five and six he’d probably be top by himself. Shout-out to Olivier Giroud and Alassane Pléa, though, for absolutely defying expectations to score as many as they have. Giroud did most of his work in just one game, scoring four against Sevilla.
- Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund): 6 goals (345 minutes)
- Marcus Rashford (Manchester United): 6 goals (416 minutes)
- Alvaro Morata (Juventus): 6 goals (450 minutes)
- Olivier Giroud (Chelsea): 5 goals (142 minutes)
- Ciro Immobile (Lazio): 5 goals (326 minutes)
- Alassane Pléa (Gladbach): 5 goals (361 minutes)
- Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla): 4 goals (236 minutes)
- Diogo Jota (Liverpool): 4 goals (273 minutes)
Champions League most assists:
Unsurprisingly Kevin De Bruyne is near the top of the assist charts despite barely playing. The Belgian is a brilliantly creative force who will want to keep this energy going. However, it is Juan Cuadrado currently topping the charts, with his crosses essential to Juve’s success. Joshua Kimmich was also in fine form before his big injury, while Alassane Pléa confirms his status as one of the best players in the group stages with his presence on the scorers list and this one.
- Juan Cuadrado (Juventus): 5 assists (431 minutes)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City): 4 assists (167 minutes)
- Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich): 3 assists (270 minutes)
- Alassane Pléa (Gladbach): 3 assists (362 minutes)
- Dusan Tadic (Ajax): 3 assists (450 minutes)
- Angeliño (RB Leipzig): 3 assists (537 minutes)
Champions League most clean sheets:
The Premier League looms large in terms of defensive solidity, with the Chelsea and City goalkeepers having kept four clean sheets in their five games so far. Marchesin has also got five but he’s conceded three goals whereas Ederson and Mendy have each conceded just once.
- Ederson (Manchester City): 4 clean sheets (450 minutes)
- Edouard Mendy (Chelsea): 4 clean sheets (450 minutes
- Agustin Marchesin (Porto): 4 clean sheets (450 minutes)
- Roman Burki (Dortmund): 3 clean sheets (360 minutes)
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