Manchester United face a huge battle qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds. A chaotic 4-3 defeat by Copenhagen on Wednesday night was their third reverse of the European campaign already, with the Red Devils now bottom of Group A with two matches remaining.
Erik ten Hag’s side have lost against Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and now Danish side Copenhagen in their group. United’s only victory came against the latter in a narrow 1-0 triumph.
Rock bottom of their group, United face an almighty task reaching the last-16. They travel to Galatasaray on November 29 before rounding off the group at home to Harry Kane’s Bayern on December 12.
Although wins in both of those games would likely see United through, it seems a big ask of an under-performing side. Qualification is therefore largely out of United’s hands.
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Copenhagen and Galatasaray both have four points to United’s three. The Danish and Turkish sides meet on matchday six in a hugely decisive fixture.
Matters look far brighter for Premier League rivals Arsenal, though. A confident 2-0 victory over reigning Europa League champions Sevilla means the Gunners are top of Group B after a wobble in October’s defeat by Lens.
A passage into the knockouts is not quite guaranteed for Arsenal. A four-point lead is extremely healthy, but they will want to win at least one of their remaining two matches at home to Lens or away to PSV, respectively.
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Elsewhere, champions Manchester City have already secured their route to the last-16 and are among the favourites to retain their crown. Pep Guardiola’s side defeated 10-man Young Boys 3-0 on Tuesday and have an unblemished record in Group G.
Things look slightly rougher for Newcastle on their return to the Champions League, 20 years after they last competed in the competition. The Magpies are bottom after a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund this week, although they are only three points behind the German side in the tightest group.
Realistically, Newcastle require victories over AC Milan at home and away to Paris Saint-Germain to be sure of qualifying for the last-16. Elsewhere, Celtic are banking on winning their remaining two games and hoping that Feyenoord lose twice to have any chance of going through.
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