UEFA Champions League 2019-20: Teams that can qualify for the knockout round on matchday-5
The UEFA Champions League is the blue-riband event of European club football. Called the "European Cup" in its first edition in 1955, the competition was re-branded as the "Champions League" in 1992-93.
A total of 142 different clubs from 32 different nations have graced the group-stage of the competition. The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League features 32 teams from 16 different nations.
After four matchdays of group-stage action, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are the three clubs that have qualified for the knockout round. On matchday-5 (26 and 27 November 2019), all but three clubs (Galatasaray, Genk and LOSC Lille) remain in contention for a place in the Round of 16.
Let us have a look at the five teams that could join the trio of qualified teams in the knockout round on matchday-5:
#1 Real Madrid (Spain)
The record 13-time European Cup / UEFA Champions League winners started their campaign on the wrong note when they succumbed to an away defeat at PSG and followed that up with a disappointing 2-2 home draw against Club Brugge.
Since then, Madrid have won by a solitary goal at Galatasaray and thumped the Turkish side 6-0 at the Bernabeu.
On the fifth matchday, Madrid welcome their matchday-1 conquerors PSG to the Bernabeu, where a win over the French side would confirm Madrid's passage to the Round of 16. But regardless of the result of their game with PSG, Madrid's place in the knockout round will also get rubber-stamped if third-placed Club Brugge do not win at Galatasaray.
#2 Manchester City (England)
English champions Manchester City have been a regular fixture in the UEFA Champions League since the 2011-12 season. Since a pair of group-stage exits in 2011-12 and 2012-13, City have reached at least the Round of 16 in each of their subsequent appearances.
On matchday-5, the Citizens welcome Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk to the City of Manchester Stadium, where a point would suffice to qualify for the Round of 16. One of six unbeaten sides left in the competition, City will also reach the Round of 16 if Dinamo Zagreb do not win against Atalanta.
A win against Shakhtar would confirm City as group winners.
#3 Liverpool (England)
Defending champions Liverpool started their 2019-20 Champions League with a 2-0 reverse at Napoli. They have since recovered with three wins on the trot, to lead their group after four matchdays.
The only group-leader to have conceded a goal on each of the four matchdays, Liverpool will qualify for the Round of 16 if they beat visitors Napoli on matchday-5 - which will also confirm the Reds as group winners. Regardless of the result of their game with Napoli, the Premier League leaders would also seal their passage to the knockout round if third-placed Salzburg do not win at Genk.
#4 Barcelona (Spain)
Five-time Champions League winners Barcelona started the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League season with a goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund. Successive 2-1 wins over Internazionale and Slavia Praha followed, before a goalless stalemate at home against Slavia.
It is a tightly contested Group F, which features three former winners of the competition in Barcelona, Internazionale and Borussia Dortmund. All four teams are still in contention for a place in the knockout round.
Only four points separate group leaders Barcelona, second-placed Borussia Dortmund (who are a point behind) and Internazionale (who are three points behind Dortmund). The two-time defending Spain champions would be through to the Round of 16 with a win over visiting Borussia Dortmund on matchday-5, which would also confirm them as group-winners.
Barcelona would also qualify for the knockout round if they draw against Dortmund and the game between Slavia and Internazionale ends in a draw, or if Slavia beat Internazionale.
#5 Leipzig (Germany)
In only their second Champions League season, Leipzig lead second-placed Olympique Lyonnais by two points after four matchdays of group-stage competition.
On matchday-5, Leipzig play host to visiting Portuguese side Benfica, in a game with qualification implications for both sides.
A win for Leipzig would end Benfica's interest in the competition while a draw would suffice for the Bundesliga side to seal their maiden berth in the Round of 16. Leipzig would also qualify for the knockout round if Zenit St. Petersburg do not win against Olympique Lyonnais.