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Where They Stand: Who’s in, who’s out after Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League action

Dec 10, 2013, 5:48 PM EDT

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After Tuesday’s action Groups A through D are officially settled. We know which eight teams are moving on, which four have to get excited about Europa as well as the quartet who saw their European season end on Tuesday. Combined with the few sure things we know from the groups that will play Wednesday (E through H), and the knockout round field is starting to take shape. After two-plus months and almost six match days, we’re almost ready for the draw.

The big thing to watch for on Wednesday (in addition to who goes through): Which strong teams slipping into the second place pool. Those are not only the teams group winners will want to avoid in the second round, they’re the ones likely to give us the best matchups last February. Last year, Real Madrid finishing second to Borussia Dortmund in Group D saw the Merengues drawn against Manchester United in the Round of 16, a pairing that sent the Red Devils out early for a second consecutive tournament.

Manchester City, despite winning five or six games in their group, is in that runners-up pot, immediately becoming the team nobody wants to draw. English teams like Manchester United need not worry about that, though. Teams from the same federation (or, the same group stage packet) can’t be drawn against each other in the Round of 16, so while we won’t see a Manchester Derby or a Bayern-City rematch in round two, City could draw Real Madrid or Paris-Saint-Germain.

Here’s were we stand with nine games left in UEFA Champions League’s group stage:

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – Round of 16

Group winners

  • A: Manchester United (14 pts.)
  • B: Real Madrid (16 pts.)
  • C: Paris Saint-Germain (13 pts.)
  • D: Bayern Munich (15 pts.)
  • E: Chelsea, Basel, or Schalke
  • F: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, or Napoli
  • G: Atlético Madrid (13 pts., five games)
  • H: Barcelona or Milan

Runners up

  • A: Bayer Leverkusen (10 pts.)
  • B: Juventus or Galatasaray
  • C: Olympiacos (10 pts.)
  • D: Manchester City (15 pts.)
  • E: Chelsea, Basel, or Schalke
  • F: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, or Napoli
  • G: Zenit or Porto
  • F: Barcelona, Milan, or Ajax

EUROPA LEAGUE – Round of 32

  • A: Shakhtar Donetsk (8 pts.)
  • B: Juventus or Galatasary
  • C: Benfica (10 pts.)
  • D: Viktoria Plzen (3 pts.)
  • E: Basel or Schalke
  • F: Arsenal, Borussia Dormtund, or Napoli
  • G: Zenit or Porto
  • H: Milan or Ajax