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The race for the Champions League knockout stages

It is tight at the top of Group H in the Champions League, with three teams all holding hopes of qualification in their own hands ahead of the final round of matches.

Following another dramatic evening on matchday five and a thrilling 2-2 draw for Chelsea away in Valencia, the Blues are tied on points with the Spanish side, while Ajax's 2-0 win against Lille puts them top ahead of the final round of matches.

Lille, who have not won yet in the group, will definitely finish fourth and miss out on Europa League qualification as well as a place in the knockout stage of this season's Champions League. The Frenchmen are at Stamford Bridge where a win for Frank Lampard's side secures their advance to the last-16.

That is because Ajax host Valencia in Amsterdam and something will have to give between the current top two. Los Che need to win to guarantee a top-two finish, although they will also progress if they finish at least level on points with Chelsea due to their superior head-to-head record over us. Ajax will go through if they draw or win, or if we fail to beat Lille.

For the Blues, a win will be enough to ensure qualification, as will a draw if Valencia lose to Ajax. The only scenario in which we can finish as group winners is if we win and Ajax draw with Valencia as our superior head-to-head record against the Dutch side means we will finish above them.

Elsewhere in the group stage, there are eight teams who have already qualified for the round of 16, including five as group winners. They are Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain (all group winners), RB Leipzig, Real Madrid and Tottenham.

As one of the most finely balanced Champions League groups, it promises to be a big night in SW6 as Chelsea look to reach the knockout round for the fifth time in seven seasons.

 

Champions League Group H fixtures and results


Vote here for who you think will progress and who will miss out on the top two…

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