UEFA Champions League: City, United aim for knockout round and more

Nani (Getty Images)

Manchester United and Manchester City both look like solid bets to reach the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, and both can take major steps to securing their spots among the final 16 teams with victories on Tuesday.

United hosts Benfica (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) in a meeting between two teams tied for first atop Group C. They played to a draw in their last match and sit level on eight points, although the Red Devils had a one-goal edge in goal differential. Wayne Rooney, who missed training on Monday, is expected to be ready for the game.

City, meanwhile, can clinch a place in the knockout round with a victory over Napoli (Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv). The English club sits in second place, three points behind Bayern Munich, but it would pull five points clear of the Italian power with one game to go if it could come away with a road win.

Here's a closer look at what's at stake during the rest of Tuesday's Champions League matches:

TUESDAY'S UCL MATCHES

GROUP A

Bayern Munich is sitting pretty atop the group ahead of its matchup against point-less Villarreal (2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/Direct TV). Depending on the City-Napoli result, Bayern Munich, which has 10 points and is three clear of City and five clear of Napoli, could clinch first place in the group prior to the final game of group play.  

GROUP B

CSKA Moscow can eliminate Lille when they go head-to-head (12 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/DirecTV) while also putting pressure on Trabzonspor to get a result against Inter Milan in their meeting (2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/DirecTV). The Turkish representative is level with CSKA for second place behind Inter entering Tuesday's matches but will know whether its home game against Inter becomes even more of a must-win before it takes to the field. Inter, meanwhile, can clinch first place with a victory. 

GROUP C

United and Benfica both figure to advance to the knockout round, but FC Basel is in an interesting position, sitting just three points behind both clubs ahead of its meeting with underdog Otelul Galati (2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/DirecTV). Suffice it to say, the final matchday could get very interesting if Basel, which faces United in its last match, keeps pace and remains in a lurking position behind the United-Benfica loser.

GROUP D

Real Madrid has all but sewn up first place in the group, and it can do so officially with a victory over last place Dinamo Zagreb at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/DirecTV). In fact, both of the group's entrants into the knockout stage could be determined on Tuesday, as Ajax can clinch its place if it can handle Lyon in an away match (2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer.tv/DirecTV).

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How do you see Tuesday's UCL matches unfolding? 

Share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to UEFA Champions League: City, United aim for knockout round and more

  1. Chris says:

    Kinda overstating things I think by saying Man City are a good bet to go through. Their position in the group is helped by having already played their two matches against an underperforming Villareal. Their match against Napoli will be tough today and their last match is against group leaders Bayern. They could very well go through (today’s match is critical), but it a bit early right now to say they’re a good bet. Their tough matches are still to be played.

  2. FoxStinks says:

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  3. Warner says:

    Depending on the City-Napoli result, Bayern Munich, which has 10 points and is three clear of City and five clear of Napoli, could clinch first place in the group prior to the final game of group play.