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This Week’s Champions League Preview

The Champions League group stage concludes this week with the final round of matches and there are still four places up for grabs. Two in Group H where Shakhtar Donetsk, Arsenal and Braga all still have a chance to qualify for the knockout stages.

Group A
The only unanswered question is whether group stage debutants Spurs can secure top spot ahead of holders Inter Milan. Both have qualified and Spurs’ superiority in head-to-head goal difference means they will advance in first place provided they do not secure fewer points at FC Twente than Inter achieve at Werder Bremen. Even if Bremen catch third-placed Twente on five points, the Dutch side’s four points from the head-to-head meetings guarantees them third place.

Group B
Schalke 04 and Lyon are assured of qualification with the German side a point ahead. To overhaul the leaders, Lyon must beat Hapoel Tel-Aviv and hope Schalke loses at Benfica; if Lyon draw level on ten points with Schalke, the German team will stay top because of head-to-head superiority.

Group C
The only matter at stake is whether Manchester United or Valencia finish first. The Spanish side, three points behind, play Man Utd at Old Trafford. Rangers are assured of third as they visit Bursapor.

Group D
Barcelona have wrapped up top position in the group and the battle for second is between København, who have seven points, and Rubin Kazan who have six points. København has the easier task, at home to Panathinaikos while Rubin must travel to Spain to play Barca.

Group E
Bayern Munich have wrapped up the top spot in the group and that leaves Roma and Basel to fight for the second place. Roma on 9 points, who has a three point lead over Basel travels to Cluj knowing a draw will send them back to the knockout stages.

Group F
Marseille’s 3-0 victory over Sparta Moscow in the last set of games took them three points ahead of the Russian side and guaranteed them second place in the group behind Chelsea.

Group G
Real Madrid and AC Milan have already wrapped up first and second places in this group.

Group H
This is the only group where both spots in the knockout round are up for grabs. Shakhtar are three points ahead of Arsenal and Braga, and they play Braga at home. Arsenal play Partizan at home knowing that they must win in order to progress.

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