At one point during yesterday’s Champions League matches there was a real danger of England being left with just one representative in the knockout phase of this year’s competition.
But with Arsenal’s remarkable turnaround in Brussels, Ludogorets’ win over Basel doing Liverpool a favour and Roma’s capitulation handing Man City a lifeline, the Premier League could still have four sides strutting their stuff in European football’s premier competition come February.
With Chelsea all but through after their thumping 6-0 win over Maribor we assess the chances of Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City for those of you tempted by our breaking bet.
Alongside Chelsea, it’s fair to say Arsenal are all but qualified after their late turnaround against Anderlecht.
With just 20 minutes left things went from bad to worse for the visitors with the Belgians taking a lead which would have made Arsenal’s passage to the knockout stages much more difficult.
But goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski gave the Gunners all three points and wins for both the north London club and Borussia Dortmund, against Anderlecht and Galatasaray respectively, on matchday four will see both teams qualify.
With just two points from their opening three matches in Group E, Manchester City face another huge uphill battle to qualify for the next round.
But Roma’s capitulation at the hands of Bayern Munich has given the Etihad faithful hope of a great escape with home matches against CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich to come.
Three points from the clash with CSKA in two weeks time is a must for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, while they must hope Bayern Munich sweep all before them to top the group.
That could leave qualification coming down to a winner-takes-all clash in Italy between Roma and City to decide who takes second spot in the group and who heads for Thursday nights!
Defeat in Switzerland two weeks ago was a disaster for Liverpool’s hopes of sealing a knockout berth but a surprising Ludogorets win against Basel has given Brendan Rodgers’ side a glimmer of hope.
A loss may well be expected in the Bernabeu for the Reds but victories against the other two opponents in the group on matchdays five and six should be enough to see them progress – as long a Real Madrid continue their winning ways!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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