State of play ahead of this week's Champions League Group Stage games

Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Man City can ALL book their place in the Champions League knockout stages, while English sides have plenty to do… but who else needs a win in the next round of Group Stage games?

  • Champions League group stage action gets back underway later this week 
  • Here, Mail Sport takes a look at the state of play in Europe’s elite competition 
  • Chris Sutton tells all on the hardest day of his career – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

To the joy of football fans everywhere, Champions League action gets back underway this week and there’s plenty to play for in matchday four.

Surprisingly, there are a number of teams – including the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester City – who can secure qualification to the next round already by securing a win this week. 

The European giants will be keen to wrap up their respective group stage journeys with two games to spare but will be well aware of the challenges that lie ahead. 

Meanwhile, a number of English teams will be vying to ensure they have the best chance of progressing to the knockout rounds, with plenty up for grabs still.

And so, here, Mail Sport takes a look at the current state of play ahead of the Champions League group stage action. 

Champions League Group Stage action gets back underway this week – with plenty to play for 

Teams like Newcastle will be hoping to bounce back from defeats in their last European outing

Group A

With three wins from their opening three matches, German giants Bayern Munich can secure their place in the knockout stage with a win against Galatasaray on Wednesday. 

However, with the Turkish side currently second in the group, they’ll be keen to get the best result possible from their trip to the Allianz Arena.

With Harry Kane in red-hot form – after a notching a hat-trick in his first ever Der Klassiker – there’s a good chance the Bavarian side pick up all three points. 

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United are in dire need of a victory after picking up just one win from their opening three group stage matches. 

They’ll travel to Copenhagen on Wednesday, the only team who they’ve beaten thus far in the competition, off the back of their dramatic 1-0 victory over Fulham. 

With the Red Devils currently one point behind Galatasaray, they’ll be hoping Bayern secure a win over the Turkish side and that they can triumph in Denmark. 

Harry Kane (right) and Bayern Munich can book their place in the next round with a win 

Meanwhile Manchester United have it all to do heading into matchweek four 

Group B

In Group B, it’s still all to play for as Premier League giants Arsenal lead the group by just a single point – with Lens, Sevilla and PSV all following behind closely.

The Gunners recorded a 2-1 win over Sevilla in their last outing and, when they host the Spanish side on Tuesday, will be looking to repeat that at the Emirates.

Following their dramatic 1-0 defeat to Newcastle – where manager Mikel Arteta took aim of league officials – the north London side will be keen to bounce back.

However, if they fail to do so and Lens triumph in their clash with PSV, Arteta’s side will find themselves falling to second in the group. 

Despite all of the possible permutations, the Gunners stand in good stead to book their place in the next round of the competition.  

Arsenal lead their group but will still need to beat Sevilla to be the outright frontrunners

Group C

Yet again, Real Madrid are cruising through their Champions League group with absolute ease – having picked up nine points from a possible nine thus far.

With Jude Bellingham finding form already – with three goals from three games in the competition – it’s likely the Spanish giants get another win when they face Braga. 

Meanwhile, second-place Napoli can also leave themselves within touching distance of the knockout rounds if they triumph over struggling Union Berlin.

The German side, who are participating in the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history, have failed to record a single point in the competition.

It’s not impossible for Berlin to keep their European dream alive but they’ll have to put in some stronger performances in their final three group stage games. 

Real Madrid have stormed their group and will likely secure qualification on Wednesday

Group D

While Group D may have flown under the radar for some, a lot fans will be impressed by the dominance that Real Sociedad and Inter Milan have shown thus far. 

Sociedad have been particularly impressive due to their defensive resilience and have only conceded one goal in the competition.

Both sides can ensure their places in the Champions League knockout stages with victories over Benfica and RB Salzburg on Wednesday night. 

The Spanish side will fancy their chances in progressing when they take on Benfica, who are yet to pick up a point from their group stage fixtures. 

Meanwhile, Salzburg currently sit on three points and still have a chance of qualifying but they’ll have to put in revitalized performances from here on out in order to do so.

Real Sociedad and Inter Milan have stormed their group and will likely both qualify

Group E

Unlike the majority of the groups in the competition, Group E is still up for grabs. 

With Feyenoord on six points, Atletico Madrid on five points, Lazio on four points and Celtic on one point, any of the four teams can still qualify. 

Dutch side Feyenoord are the current frontrunners but with a tricky trip to Lazio on Tuesday night, there’s a definite chance that they slip up in Italy.  

Meanwhile Atletico Madrid, who sit fourth in LaLiga currently, host Celtic and will fancy their chances of ensuring their spot in the knockout round of the competition. 

Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys will be well-aware of the uphill battles that faces them but, given their impressive domestic form, they’ll remain confident they can turn it around. 

Diego Simeone will be hopeful that his Atletico Madrid side can still top their group

Group F

And now we reach the Group of Death. 

This group has already thrown together some eye-catching results – such as Newcastle’s triumph over PSG or the Parisians’ dismantling of Dortmund in their following match. 

As it stands, PSG lead the group on six points with Dortmund and Newcastle on four points and AC Milan currently sitting on two points. 

Despite defeat in their trip to Tyneside, PSG could put themselves firmly in the driving seat within the group with a victory at the San Siro on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Eddie Howe’s side will know that a victory in Dortmund would leave them in good stead to push on a secure a place in the knockout rounds.

However, after their disappointing 1-0 defeat against the Bundesliga side in their last match, the Magpies will be well aware of the challenge ahead.

Howe will also keep in mind that there are no easy games and, if they want to progress, they’ll have to go all-out for the win in Dortmund. 

PSG and AC Milan have had constrasting luck throughout their opening group stage matches

Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund will go head-to-head in Germany on Tuesday night

Group G

Similarly to Real Madrid, Manchester City are taking the Champions League group stages by storm and can secure their qualification with a win on Tuesday night. 

Pep Guardiola’s side have picked up three wins out of a possible three and, with a home clash against Young Boys coming up, will likely earn a spot in the next round. 

German side RB Leipzig, despite sitting three points behind Man City, can also qualify for the knockout rounds if they are victorious against Red Star Belgrade.

Leipzig sit on six points whereas Belgrade and Young Boys are both stuck on one after failing to win any of their opening three games. 

Barring some freak results, fans can expect to see Leipzig and City wrap up their group stage journey imminently.  

Manchester City can ensure their place in the knockout round with a win over Young Boys

Group H

For those who aren’t aware, Barcelona have absolutely strolled through the Champions League group stage and are unbeaten from their opening games.

Their goal difference (+11) is the highest of any team in the competition, after scoring eight goals and conceding just one from their three matches to date.

Should they be victorious in their trip to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, they’ll ensure their qualification for the knockout rounds – with two games to spare. 

However, it’s all to play for in the race for second, with Shakhtar trailing behind Porto by three points. They’ll be well aware that a win in Spain would do them wonders. 

Antwerp on the other hand are all but out of Europe as they sit on zero points from their opening group stage encounters.

Barcelona have the best goal difference after scoring eight goals and conceding just one


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