A month ago, we took a look at the Champions League groups after two games. Now, all teams have played five of the six group games and we review the current situation. It is looking clearer which teams will go through to the last 16, those that will drop into the last 32 of the Europa League, and the teams whose European adventures will come to an end after the final games are played on the 9th and 10th of December. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above, and you can also read the transcript of the report (below). There is also explanations of key vocabulary (in bold).
Listening Practice: The Champions League – Last Games
Plenty of teams have already qualified for the last 16 after the previous round of matches, but all will be wanting to finish top in the hope of avoiding a tough opponent in that round.
From Group A, Real Madrid and PSG are through, but PSG are still in with a shout of top spot if Real lose against Malmo and the French team win their last game at Shakhtar Donetsk. It looks like Shakhtar will grab a Europa League spot but only on goal difference.
Group B, meanwhile is still a three horse race with Manchester United, PSV and Wolsburg all able to qualify top. With Manchester United travelling to Wolsburg and PSV at home against a poor CSKA Moskva, the smart money is on Wolfsburg to top the group and United to drop into the Europa League.
Atlético Madrid and Benfica from group C go in to the final game equal on 10 points, and they also play each other, with the Spanish side travelling to Portugal. So home advantage may mean Benfica can pull off a win and finish top, but Atletico only need a draw. The Kazakhstan team Astana could pull off a shock if they beat Galatasaray away: that would see them into the Europa League, but expect Galatasaray to see off their challenge.
Juventus did the double over Manchester City in group D, and that means they are top on 11 points, above the English side on 9. Both sides face difficult final fixtures and it is not sewn up for Juventus, who have to at least draw with Sevilla in the final game and hope that City don’t put more than three goals past Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In group E are most people’s favourites to win the trophy, Barcelona, who absolutely thrashed Italian side Roma in the last round 6-1. Fighting for second place will be the other three teams, Bayer Leverkusen, and Roma, and BATE Borisov. With the German side hosting Barcelona and Roma welcoming BATE, the advantage is with Roma.
Group F is topped by Bayern Munich, another favourite to go all the way, and they are followed by Olympiakos, who, if they hold their nerve, should retain the second spot. It’s mathematically possible for Arsenal to leapfrog the Greek side into second, but very unlikely. The London side will be rueing early losses to Zagreb and Olympiakos. A Europa League spot for Arsenal and Zagreb to pack their bags.
The top two sides in Group G, Chelsea and Porto, clash in the last game, with the English side having home advantage. In third, two points behind are Dynamo Kiev, who will hoping to take advantage if either Porto or Chelsea lose. The Russian side should overcome Tel Aviv, who have lost all five games so far.
Finally, in group H, Zenit have run away with it and sit pretty with 15 points – the maximum. Behind them are surprise package, Ghent, fresh from a 2-0 away victory over Lyon. It’s a big ask for them to stay second, however, as they face Zenit in the last game. Expect Valencia to sneak through in second and consign Lyon to the bottom.
in with a shout: Have a chance
the smart money: Expert opinion; most people’s opinion
pull off: Succeed in doing; complete
see off: Repel; beat; avoid
sew up: Secure; control; win
put (x goals) past: Score (x goals)
host: Welcome; play at home
go all the way: Win the whole competition
hold their nerve: Be calm; don’t do anything crazy
leapfrog: Go above another team in a table or division; jump over
pack their bags: go home; go out of the tournament
run away with it: Easily win the group
sit pretty: Be in a very good position
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