Nov 6, 2007

CL Update: Man U, Arse, Real, Can Clinch Knockout Stage Births With Victories

Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal all "control their own destiny" in their UEFA Champions League groups and can clinch spots in the knockout stage with wins this week. Marseille, Roma, Chelsea, Sevilla and either Barca or Rangers can join them if they win their games and have another result go their way:

Arsenal advance if they beat Slavia Prague (what are the chances of that?) because they would then a lead of at least seven points over the third place team with two games remaining.

Man U are in an identical predicament (first place, nine points from three games and a three point lead over the second-placed team in the group) and advance with a victory over Dynamo Kiev tomorrow.

Real advance if they win at Olympiakos because that automatically gives them the tie breaker over the Greek club (Real won their first meeting). The other two teams in the group, Lazio and Bremen, play each other today and are far enough off the pace that only one of them can pass Real if the Spanish club were to win today.

Chelsea would certainly be in the driver's seat if they beat Schalke today. If Rosenborg beat Valencia as well, the Blues are in, because Chelsea would then have a seven point lead over the third-placed team.

Roma advance with a win against Sporting Lisbon and a Man U victory or tie with Dynamo.

Sevilla, being in the identical spot as Roma, would also clinch a stage in the knockout round if they win and Arsenal win or tie.

If Barca beat Gers tomorrow and Stuttgart beat Lyon, the Catalans would then have a seven point lead over the third-placed teams. The same holds true if Gers somehow win the game.

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