With match day 5 in the Champions League coming to an end, the results in Group B ended in such a way that all four teams have a shot at qualifying for the knockout places. Here is a snapshot of the Group B table after 5 rounds :
Matchday 6 Fixtures :
Real Madrid vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Inter vs Shakhtar Donetsk
As it stands, the teams that win their respective matches in GW6 will go through. So, let’s put each team under the microscope and look at their potential finishing positions beginning with the elephant in the room.
Real Madrid CF
If Real Madrid win their fixture against Borussia M’Gladbach at home, Los Blancos seal a place in the knockout stages. But, a 2-0 loss against Shakhtar away in Matchday 5 does not do the morale of Real Madrid any good. Zidane and his team have struggled for form in La Liga and if Real Madrid were to lose and if Shakhtar Donetsk manage to get a result (draw or win), Los Blancos stare down the barrel of playing in the Europa League for the first time in their history! Yes, Madrid fans. It’s a possibility and the numbers don’t lie.
But if Madrid manage to get a point and Inter were to win, Real will go through owing to the better H2H against Inter although both end up with 8 points.
The team from Germany find themselves at the top of Group B as things stand and take on Zidane’s men in their final match. A win against Madrid would put them top of the group irrespective of the result in the other fixture. But if M’Gladbach were to lose their game they need the matchup between Inter and Shakhtar to end in a draw. If one of the two teams between Inter and Shakhtar were to win, M’Gladbach would be heading to the Europa League.
A draw will also suffice for their qualification to the knockout stages.
FC Internazionale Milano
Inter absolutely require a victory to continue playing in Europe – be it the Champions League or Europa League. If Inter win their fixture and either of Real Madrid or Borussia Monchengladbach take the win over the other, inter would finish 2nd in the Group. But if Monchengladbach and Real Madrid were to share the spoils, Inter would play in the Europa League if they win against Shakhtar. With the squad that Conte has at his disposal, it would be a shame if Inter get completely knocked out of Europe.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk
The dark horses of Group B can continue their dream of playing in the CL knockout stages if they take the win over Inter. But a loss against Inter would mean that they would be relying on Borussia M’Gladbach to beat Real Madrid which would enable them to continue playing in the Europa League. Similarly, if Real Madrid were to win over M’Gladbach, Shakhtar need to at least draw to play in the Europa League. A win for Borussia M’Gladbach and a draw for Shakhtar would mean that the two teams qualify for the knockout stages.
To summarize, take a look at the table below:
The first row and column are the header row and header column respectively denoting the team that would win/draw/lose their fixture.
The two team names separated by commas indicates the two teams that would qualify to the knockout stages at positions one and two respectively (team1, team2) in the group.
The Champions League is set to have an intense finish to the league stages especially for Group B where all the 4 teams can see the light at the end of the tunnel but only 2 of them can go through!