Europa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Entering Matchday 6 of the Europa League, there were 11 spots available in the knockout phase of the tournament. (I covered all the scenarios here and here for the groups that mattered). Most of the matches that mattered on Thursday went as expected, though there were a couple of surprises based on the tournament up … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Champions League – Matchday 6 Recap

The Champions League group stage is now complete, with 16 clubs through to the knockout phase that will begin in February. We’ll know the matchups after the draw takes place on Monday, but before we get there, we should finally get around to recapping what happened on Matchday 6.

We entered Matchday six with most of the spots decided, with only seeding needing to be determined in a couple of groups. We covered six matches from four groups in advance of the matches this week that were going to have the most impact on the final results, and those will be the same matches we cover here.

Note: If you missed our scenarios for Matchday 6 – which has also been updated to reflect the results from Tuesday and Wednesday, you can read it here.

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Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Click here for Part 1 and a look at all the settled groups in Europa League. Click here for Part 2 and a look at the groups with one spot open. There are eight groups – and 23 clubs – that will actually have something to play for during Matchday 6. I’ve broken these eight … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1 and a look at all the settled groups in Europa League.

There are eight groups – and 23 clubs – that will actually have something to play for during Matchday 6. I’ve broken these eight groups into two groups of four: those with one spot open and those with both spots open. I tried to outline all the scenarios based on potential outcomes today without diving too deep into the tiebreakers; if seeding or advancement comes down to disciplinary points (the 11th tiebreaker), than you won’t find those here. (I’m just honestly not that great at predicting scores).

The completely open groups will be discussed in Part 3, which is where the most excitement will be happening. In both posts, I’m going to be referencing the FiveThirtyEight Europa League Predictions to show which clubs are favored for what spots, so feel free to open that link in a separate window/tab so I don’t have to keep linking it later.

Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 2)

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 1)

The final day of the Europa League group stage is here, and we have five of the 12 groups unsettled at the top, with three groups that are still looking for both participants in the knockout phase. 23 clubs enter Matchday 6 playing for 11 remaining spots, attempting to join the 13 clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Dynamo Kyiv, Red Bull Salzburg, Lazio, Sporting CP, Fenerbahce, Real Betis, Dinamo Zagreb, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Zurich – that have already clinched advancement.

Why Winning the Group Matters

For the groups still left to be completely decided, it is in the clubs’ best interest to finish in first place if possible. As a refresher, the knockout phase of Europa League features the first and second place clubs from each of the 12 groups – plus the eight third-place teams from Champions League. Clubs are drawn against each other for two legs (with clubs from the same association unable to face each other), with the group winners and the top four third-place teams seeded for the draw.

Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 1)

Champions League Group F – Shakhtar Donetsk v Lyon

Champions League Group F

Group F already has a winner. Manchester City has clinched the first position as they hold the tiebreaker over Lyon, the only club that can match them with 10 points. The match that matters today is the one that will determine who places second and who will be off to Europa League’s knockout stage.

Shakhtar Donetsk

The Ukrainian champion enters the Champions League during the group stage as a result of Ukraine’s football association being ranked 8th in UEFA (partially based on Shakhtar’s own relative success in previous European competition). They reached the Round of 16 last year after finishing second in their group, and they are hoping for a similar result this year.

Shakhtar is the class of the top Ukrainian league – now known as the Premier League. In 27 seasons, Shakhtar has won the league 11 times (including the past two), as well as 12 second-place finishes. They have also won 12 Ukrainian Cups during the same period. This season, they currently lead the Premier League by seven points over Dynamo Kyiv, having lost only once thus far during the season with a +34 goal differential through 18 matches.

Read moreChampions League Group F – Shakhtar Donetsk v Lyon