Champions League permutations, scenarios: What teams need to qualify from groups for 2023/24 Round of 16 stage

The UEFA Champions League is nearing the end of its group stage, with 16 precious places in the first knockout round up for grabs.

Manchester City are looking to go back-to-back after their triumph in last season’s Champions League, potentially becoming the first English club since Nottingham Forest in 1980 to successfully defend the trophy.

The likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona have also enjoyed strong group-stage campaigns and will surely be in the mix towards the sharp end of the competition.

Yet there is plenty to decide as we enter the decisive rounds of the group phase. While some teams are on the brink of progress, others, such as Manchester United, have bowed out in ignominy.

The Sporting News reviews the group stage ahead of its final match night and examines what teams from each group need to qualify for the Round of 16.

MORE: Champions League Round of 16 schedule, draw & qualified teams

Champions League permutations, scenarios: What teams need to qualify

Group A

Team GP W D L GD P
Bayern Munich (Q) 6 5 0 0 +6 16
Copenhagen (Q) 6 2 2 2 0 8
Galatasaray 6 1 2 3 -3 5
Manchester United 6 1 1 4 -3 4

Bayern Munich coasted into the knockout rounds but Copenhagen, Galatasaray and Manchester United all entered the final matchweek with a chance of joining the Bundesliga giants.

Galatasaray knew that if they beat Copenhagen at Parken they would go through but Lukas Lerager scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for the hosts

Manchester United are out of Europe altogether after a limp display against Bayern at Old Trafford, where Kingsley Coman sealed a 1-0 win for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Results

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 20 Galatasaray 2-2 FC Copenhagen
Sept. 20 Bayern Munich 4-3 Manchester United
Oct. 3 Manchester United 2-3 Galatasaray
Oct. 3 FC Copenhagen 1-2 Bayern Munich
Oct. 24 Galatasaray 1-3 Bayern Munich
Oct. 24 Manchester United 1-0 FC Copenhagen
Nov. 8 Bayern Munich 2-1 Galatasaray
Nov. 8 FC Copenhagen 4-3 Manchester United
Nov. 29 Galatasaray 3-3 Manchester United
Nov. 29 Bayern Munich 0-0 FC Copenhagen
Dec. 12 FC Copenhagen 1-0 Galatasaray
Dec. 12 Manchester United 0-1 Bayern Munich

Group B

Team GP W D L GD P
Arsenal (Q) 6 4 1 1 +12 13
PSV (Q) 6 2 3 1 -2 9
Lens 6 2 2 2 -5 8
Sevilla 6 0 2 4 -5 2

Arsenal finished top of the pile and their 6-0 thrashing of Lens on matchday five confirmed them as winners of Group B.

PSV‘s comeback win over Sevilla meant have also qualified thanks to Lens‘ defeat. The Ligue 1 side beat their LaLiga opponents 2-1 to make sure of a Europa League berth as PSV and Arsenal played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Results

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 20 Sevilla 1-1 Lens
Sept. 20 Arsenal 4-0 PSV
Oct. 3 Lens 2-1 Arsenal
Oct. 3 PSV 2-2 Sevilla
Oct. 24 Sevilla 1-2 Arsenal
Oct. 24 Lens 1-1 PSV
Nov. 8 Arsenal 2-0 Sevilla
Nov. 8 PSV 1-0 Lens
Nov. 29 Sevilla 2-3 PSV
Nov. 29 Arsenal 6-0 Lens
Dec. 12 Lens 2-1 Sevilla
Dec. 12 PSV 1-1 Arsenal

Group C

Team GP W D L GD P
Real Madrid (Q) 6 6 0 0 +9 18
Napoli (Q) 6 3 1 2 1 10
Braga 6 1 1 4 -6 4
Union Berlin 6 0 2 4 -4 2

Real Madrid, the 14-time European champions, completed six-wins out of six with a topsy-turvy 3-2 win away to Union Berlin

MORE: Jude Bellingham’s incredible stats for Real Madrid this season

That result ruled the Bundesliga side out of the Europa League, a spot Braga claim as consolation after Napoli snuffed out their slim hopes of second place with a 2-0 win at the Diego Armando Maradona.

Results

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 20 Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin
Sept. 20 Braga 1-2 Napoli
Oct. 3 Union Berlin 2-3 Braga
Oct. 3 Napoli 2-3 Real Madrid
Oct. 24 Braga 1-2 Real Madrid
Oct. 24 Union Berlin 0-1 Napoli
Nov. 8 Napoli 1-1 Union Berlin
Nov. 8 Real Madrid 3-0 Braga
Nov. 29 Real Madrid 4-2 Napoli
Nov. 29 Braga 1-1 Union Berlin
Dec. 12 Napoli 2-0 Braga
Dec. 12 Union Berlin 2-3 Real Madrid

Group D

Team GP W D L GD P
1. Real Sociedad (Q) 6 3 3 0 +5 12
2. Inter Milan (Q) 6 3 3 0 +3 12
3. Benfica 6 1 1 4 -4 4
4. RB Salzburg 6 1 1 4 -4 4

Real Sociedad and Inter Milan dominated Group D and could not be separated as they shared a 0-0 draw at San Siro. That left the Basque side top of the pile on goal difference.

Salzburg had their Europea League destiny in their own hands but crashed out as an Angel Di Maria-inspired Benfica ran out 3-1 winners in Austria. Roger Schmidt’s side progressed on goals scored, with Arthur Cabral’s stoppage-time strike proving decisive

Results

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 20 Real Sociedad 1-1 Inter Milan
Sept. 20 Benfica 0-2 RB Salzburg
Oct. 3 RB Salzburg 0-2 Real Sociedad
Oct. 3 Inter Milan 1-0 Benfica
Oct. 24 Inter Milan 2-1 RB Salzburg
Oct. 24 Benfica 0-1 Real Sociedad
Nov. 8 Real Sociedad 3-1 Benfica
Nov. 8 RB Salzburg 0-1 Inter Milan
Nov. 29 Benfica 3-3 Inter Milan
Nov. 29 Real Sociedad 0-0 RB Salzburg
Dec. 12 RB Salzburg 1-3 Benfica
Dec. 12 Inter Milan 0-0 Real Sociedad

Group E

Team GP W D L GD P
1. Atletico (Q) 5 3 2 0 +9 11
2. Lazio (Q) 5 3 1 1 +2 10
3. Feyenoord 5 2 0 3 0 6
4. Celtic 5 0 1 4 -11 1

Atletico Madrid and Lazio have confirmed themselves as the two qualifiers for the Round of 16 and top spot in Group E will be decided by their showdown in the Spanish capital on December 13. Feyenoord will finish third and drop into the Europa League.

Results and remaining fixtures

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 19 Feyenoord 2-0 Celtic
Sept. 19 Lazio 1-1 Atletico
Oct. 4 Atletico 3-2 Feyenoord
Oct. 4 Celtic 1-2 Lazio
Oct. 25 Feyenoord 3-1 Lazio
Oct. 25 Celtic 2-2 Atletico
Nov. 7 Atletico 6-0 Celtic
Nov. 7 Lazio 1-0 Feyenoord
Nov. 28 Lazio 2-0 Celtic
Nov. 28 Feyenoord 1-3 Atletico
Dec. 13 Atletico vs. Lazio
Dec. 13 Celtic vs. Feyenoord

Group F

Team GP W D L GD P
1. Bor. Dortmund (Q) 5 3 1 1 +3 10
2. PSG 5 2 1 2 +1 7
3. Newcastle 5 1 2 2 0 5
4. AC Milan 5 1 2 2 -4 5

Group F has confirmed one qualifier ahead of the final round of matches with the impressive Borussia Dortmund sealing their place in the Round of 16. 

If Paris Saint-Germain win away at Dortmund in their final game, they will join the Bundesliga side in the knockouts, but a draw or defeat in Germany would offer hope to Newcastle and AC Milan.

Newcastle have a head-to-head advantage over PSG, so if the Magpies beat Milan at St. James’ Park, and PSG fail to beat Dortmund, they will progress. 

A draw will not be enough for either Newcastle or Milan, regardless of PSG’s result, while Milan need to win and PSG to lose to stand a chance.

Results and remaining fixtures

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 19 Milan 0-0 Newcastle
Sept. 19 PSG 2-0 Dortmund
Oct. 4 Dortmund 0-0 Milan
Oct. 4 Newcastle 4-1 PSG
Oct. 25 PSG 3-0 Milan
Oct. 25 Newcastle 0-1 Dortmund
Nov. 7 Dortmund 2-0 Newcastle
Nov. 7 Milan 2-1 PSG
Nov. 28 PSG 1-1 Newcastle
Nov. 28 Milan 1-3 Dortmund
Dec. 13 Dortmund vs. PSG
Dec. 13 Newcastle vs. Milan

Group G

Team GP W D L GD P
1. Man City (Q) 5 5 0 0 +10 15
2. RB Leipzig (Q) 5 3 0 2 +2 9
3. Young Boys 5 1 1 3 -5 4
4. Red Star Belgrade 5 0 1 4 -6 1

Manchester City and RB Leipzig confirmed their knockout places after four games played and City’s 3-2 comeback win over the Bundesliga team on November 28 clinched top spot in Group G for Pep Guardiola.

Results and remaining fixtures

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 19 Young Boys 1-3 RB Leipzig
Sept. 19 Man City 3-1 Red Star Belgrade
Oct. 4 RB Leipzig 1-3 Man City
Oct. 4 Red Star Belgrade 2-2 Young Boys
Oct. 25 RB Leipzig 3-1 Red Star Belgrade
Oct. 25 Young Boys 1-3 Man City
Nov. 7 Man City 3-0 Young Boys
Nov. 7 Red Star Belgrade 1-2 RB Leipzig
Nov. 28 Man City 3-2 RB Leipzig
Nov. 28 Young Boys 2-0 Red Star Belgrade
Dec. 13 RB Leipzig vs. Young Boys
Dec. 13 Red Star Belgrade vs. Man City

Group H

Team GP W D L GD P
1. Barcelona (Q) 5 4 0 1 +7 12
2. Porto 5 3 0 2 +5 9
3. Shakhtar Donetsk 5 3 0 2 0 9
4. Antwerp 5 0 0 5 -12 0

Barcelona’s 2-1 home win over Porto sealed their place in the Round of 16 from Group H. The battle to join them will be a straight shootout between Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of their meeting on December 13.

Porto won the reverse fixture 3-1 in September and a home win would see them through.

Results and remaining fixtures

Date Fixture/Result
Sept. 19 Barcelona 5-0 Antwerp
Sept. 19 Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 Porto
Oct. 4 Antwerp 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Oct. 4 Porto 0-1 Barcelona
Oct. 25 Barcelona 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Oct. 25 Antwerp 1-4 Porto
Nov. 7 Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Barcelona
Nov. 7 Porto 2-0 Antwerp
Nov. 28 Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Antwerp
Nov. 28 Barcelona 2-1 Porto
Dec. 13 Antwerp vs. Barcelona
Dec. 13 Porto vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Champions League Round of 16 lineup: Which teams have qualified?

The following teams are already qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 after four matches:

  • Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Inter Milan, Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Arsenal, PSV

The full Round of 16 lineup will not be known until after all the groups have completed their fixtures.

When is the Champions League Round of 16 draw?

The draw for the Round of 16 will be made in Nyon, Switzerland at UEFA’s headquarters on Monday, December 18, 2023 at 12 noon CET (6 a.m. ET).

The teams will be divided into group winners and second-place finishers, with each runner-up drawn against a group winner. No team can be drawn against anyone from the same country until at least the quarterfinals. Third-place finishers in each group will drop into the Europa League playoff round.

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