Both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur secured a berth in the Champions League knockout stage yesterday, and now the Premier League looks to Chelsea and Liverpool to do the same.
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Chelsea has an early 12:55 p.m. ET kick as they head to Spain, an absolutely vital match as Chelsea sits level on seven points with both today’s opponent Valencia and group leaders Ajax. While they cannot officially secure advancement today, victory at Mestalla Stadium would be a massive step towards doing so, leaving them at the brink of qualification.
Liverpool is home against Napoli where victory would indeed clinch a spot in the knockout stage. A draw would also do the trick should Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg fail to win on the road in Belgium. The Reds suffered a 2-0 loss in Italy back in mid-September and will look for revenge against a Carlo Ancelotti side in slight turmoil, having failed to win any of its last six matches across all competition.
Elsewhere, Barcelona can also clinch a knockout round spot with victory at the Nou Camp against Borussia Dortmund. Marco Reus is back from injury for Dortmund, but Paco Alcacer is not with the squad to face his former club after suffering a gash to his knee. These two teams played to a 0-0 draw back in mid-September but the German side will know that a draw here could leave them vulnerable in Group F with Inter hot on their trail with a visit to Slavia Prague.
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League schedule
Liverpool v. Napoli
Racing Genk v. Red Bull Salzburg
Barcelona v. Borussia Dortmund
Slavia Prague v. Inter Milan
Zenit St. Petersburg v. Olympique Lyonnais (12:55 p.m. ET)
RB Leipzig v. Benfica
Valencia v. Chelsea (12:55 p.m. ET)
Lille v. Ajax