Finish Second, Face Barcelona

Spain Soccer Champions League

The Champions League, with only two games left a number of the groups are not settled and there is a lot to play for. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea sit at the top of their groups, while Manchester City are second in their group but have already qualified.

With only two games left it does look like all the English sides will make it to the last 16, however, will they finish top? Chelsea have a 3 point gap and a far superior goal difference to anyone else in their group so a win on match day five should be enough for them to secure top spot.

Arsenal, Man United and City are in a more delicate position. Arsenal who sit on top of the group of death are level on points with Napoli and with that great win against Borussia Dortmund last night, the Gunners have a 3 point cushion over third place.

After drawing with the group at the bottom, United have only a point gap between themselves and Bayer Leverkusen in second and a three point gap over Shakhtar Donetsk. While City are chasing the holders Bayern Munich. Arguably, all four have the chance of finishing top in their groups, however, there is a possibility one or two will finish second.

Sometimes finishing second is not bad, but this year it is a lot different. Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid sit at the top of their groups and have either won their groups or are very close to. Assuming all these do finish first, an English team finishing second will have to face them one of them in the last 16.

Would an English team want to face any of these teams this early in the competition? Atletico and PSG maybe, Real Madrid if your two full backs are ready to handle Bale and Ronaldo. Barcelona and Bayern Munich? If any of the English teams could pick two teams to avoid, it would be those two. No team should be afraid, however, to have success in this competition you would want the nicest fixtures possible.

Finishing first however, the options fall down to, Juventus/Galatasaray/FC Copenhagen, AC Milan/Ajax, Bayern Leverkusen, Olympiakos, FC Schalke, Napoli, Zenit/Porto (off what the tables look like after 4 games). On paper, the English teams could beat the majority of these teams with ease and possibly have control of the tie by the first leg. For any English success in this competition, finishing first would be a great advantage.

I would not mind seeing the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea finish second and Arsenal are given a trip to Copenhagen. For now let’s avoid Messi and win that group of death!

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