Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham are through to the knockout stages, but Man Utd and Liverpool still have work to do.
Matchday 6 presents the 5 English clubs with the opportunity to make history. Not only can all 5 teams qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, but there is a good chance they could all do it by topping their respective groups.
For Utd, a point at home to CSKA Moscow will see them top their group, something they have failed to do since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Utd will be keen to do the job quickly and rest key players with the Manchester Derby at the weekend.
Chelsea a slightly more difficult task when they face Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone’s side need a win at Stamford Bridge to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout phase. Chelsea themselves are already through but need at least a point if they are to secure top spot.
After their second half capitulation away at Sevilla, Liverpool need to beat Spartak Moscow in order to top their group. A draw will see them qualify but a Sevilla victory would mean they win Group E.
Tottenham, who most expected to struggle in their group containing Real Madrid and Dortmund, can complete a spectacular group stage by topping the group with a point at Apoel. Spurs have struggled in the league of late but another Champions League win may kickstart their league campaign again.
Man City face second place Shakhtar Donetsk having already qualified from their group. Shakhtar need just a point to be certain of a place in the last 16 at the expense of Napoli but Pep Guardiola is not the type of manager to give up the chance of a perfect group stage easily. Another win tonight will make it 18 points of a possible 18 in this year’s competition. PSG, who face Bayern Munich, are the only other team with the opportunity to win all their group games in this season’s groups.
There has been a growing sense of optimism in England that English teams have finally caught up with other European sides after a period of Spanish and German dominance. Qualification for all 5 teams would certainly go along way to suggesting that an English team could go all the way for the first time since Chelsea in the 2011/12 season.