Where do the UCL Group Stages currently stand?

Published on 14 November 2023 at 20:00

The UEFA Champions League group stage nears a culmination, with multiple sides already facing guaranteed promotion – and failure. 

Written By Oisin O'Sullivan

Serving as no surprise to fans of European football, the UCL group stages have already cemented a path for many topflight clubs to comfortably achieve placement within the knockout stages of the competition. While nothing is a foregone conclusion, a brief glance at the tournaments table would prove almost guaranteed success for several competitors. 

Photo Credit : Steffen Prößdorf

Leading Group A by a gargantuan margin, German champions Bayern Munich hold the pole position of their group having found the ability to gain an incredible 12 points from four games – a perfect record, granting them guaranteed progression into the knockout stages. Standing at the summit of such a towering lead, the remaining three teams in the group seem to be in a toss-up. Possessing just four points, both FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray hold a marginal lead over the weakest link, Manchester United – leaving the second place spot up for grabs, when all is said and done. 

Photo Credit : Steffen Prößdorf

While a seemingly assured success for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, the victors of Group B are not yet determined. Showcasing an incredible dominance within their first taste of the competition since the 2016/17 season, The Gunners’ lead the group with 9 points, following three wins and one loss. Battling it out for second place, the Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven hold a joint 5 points with French side RC Lens. Uncharacteristically, Sevilla is currently at the bottom of the table, a difference to their usual third place finish each year in the competitions group stages. Leaving success accessible to all teams, the final two matches will be crucial to the fate of the standings. 

Photo Credit : Ronnie Macdonald

Not much is to be said for Group C, which was likely the most predictable of the competitions draw this year. Leading the table at 12 points, Real Madrid are confirmed to progress into the knockout stages. Following The Los Blancos, Italian champions Napoli hold the second-place position with an underwhelming 7 points, despite the high chance of it being enough to grant them a runners-up spot. Contesting for an easily attainable Europa League placement, Portuguese side Braga possess 3 points, ahead of Union Berlin, who only have managed to gain one point. Sure to provide fireworks in the remaining two games, the fate of Group C is still undecided. 

 

One of two groups already fully determined, Group D is joint led in points by Real Sociedad and Inter Milan, disallowing RB Salzburg and Benfica progression into the competition's knockout stages. Gerhard Struber’s Salzburg side, which are currently in third place, require an up-to-standard performance in their remaining two games to fend off Benfica, who disappointingly have zero points to hold against Salzburg’s three.  

Currently standing at just two points between first and third place, Group E is led by Spanish side Atletico Madrid. Managing to find 8 points from four matches previously played, their campaign for assurances into the knockout stages is yet to be concluded as Lazio and Feyenoord look to keep pushing toward group stage success. However, hope is seemingly lost for Scottish champions Celtic, who continue their disappointing run of European form. Brendan Rodgers’ Glaswegian side have managed to gain only one point from eight games, adding another year to their staggering tally of consecutive campaigns without a UCL group stage win. Eagerly anticipated, the final two matches of Group E will prove who will be victorious – and who will face the downgrade that is the Europa League. 

Perhaps the most entertaining group of all, Group F, also labelled as this year’s ‘Group of Death’ is still entirely up for grabs, as far as knockout stage qualifications are concerned. Narrowly ruling the group, Edin Terzińá’s Borussia Dortmund managed to garner seven points from this incredibly difficult group. Occupying the runners up position, French champions Paris Saint Germain hold six points, giving them a one-point lead over last year’s semifinalists, AC Milan. Despite failing to make their mark on the competition so far this year, The Red and Blacks still show ambition to succeed in the group stages following a 2-1 lead over Paris Saint Germain in their last European outing, providing them with a one-point lead over Newcastle United. The English side, currently managed by Eddie Howe, have failed to qualify for the Champions League since the 03/04 season. Managing to only secure one victory amongst four games, Newcastle’s disappointing European campaign is certainly not devoid of hope, should The Magpies manage to display winning performances in their remaining two matches. 

The second group of two already determined, Group G’s knockout stage competitors have already been decided. Bossing the group in usual domineering fashion, Pep Guardiola’s English champions Manchester City have comfortably won each of their four outings so far. An impressive, although expected 12 points has secured progression into the knockouts. Following Manchester City closely behind, RB Leipzig occupies the runners up position with 9 points to guard their spot. Not proving as a shock to many, the consistently improving German side may prove a force to be reckoned with in the competitions later stages. With the Europa League placement a complete toss up, third place Crvena Zvezda will battle it out with Young Boys in their race to see who may remain in Europe.   

 

Leading Group H, Spanish champions and five-time UCL winners, Barcelona, seek a first-place finish in their table. Following a lackluster previous European campaign, Xavi’s side is rejuvenated and hungry for trophies, making their best attempts at turning ambition into European success. Joint in points with Barcelona and inhabiting second place, FC Porto’s 9 points should be a source of confidence for the Portuguese side heading into the final two matches of the group stages. Looking to join Barcelona in the knockouts, an impressive performance in the final two matches is of utmost importance in order to fend off Shakhtar Donetsk, who currently possess 6 points. Last, and likely least, zero points Antwerp inevitably faces disappointment following a string of poor performances, making even Europa League placement extremely unlikely. 

Photo Credit : Juan Eduardo De Cristofaro

With the conclusion of the group stage destined to be nail-biting, exhilarating and entertaining, the next stage of 23/24 European football is yet to be determined. Who do you think will make it into the knockout stages? And who will be banished into the Europa League? 

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