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Can Barcelona really miss the knockout stages of the Champions League?

Barcelona is on the brink of losing out their place in the knockout stages as they hang by a thread in Group E.

Xavi and Pique - Barcelona

The Knockout stages of the Champions League are around the corner, with only the final matchday, left for the Group stages to wrap up the qualifications to the round of 16. However, 11 teams have booked their ticket to the round of 16 as of now. But on the other hand, some teams are still struggling and are depending on the last matchday with the hope of qualifying for the next stage. One team from those such ones is of course Barcelona, the Catalan side has been heavily criticized for their poor performances this season under Ronald Koeman. 

Barcelona is on the brink of losing out their place in the knockout stages as they hang by a thread in Group E. The group leaders already cleared their path by winning 5 out of their 6 matches. 

However, currently, 2nd placed Barcelona just managed to get 2 wins and lost 2 and drew one in their course of 5 games. Barcelona will face Bayern Munich on the final matchday and it is a must-win game for the Spanish side. 

Benfica on the other hand is chasing out Barcelona, their next game is against the Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv. The Portuguese side is looking like the favorites to win that fixture, which will shatter the qualification dreams of Barcelona. 

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How can Barcelona still Qualify?

Barcelona sits at 2nd with 7 points whereas Benfica is on their neck with 5 points. A win against Bayern Munich is the only way they can qualify.

 However the goal difference can also play a big part, currently, both teams have a -4 goal difference, for Barcelona, it’s 2 goals for and 6 goals against, and for Benfica, it’s 5 goals for and 9 goals against. So Barcelona drawing against Bayern and Benfica winning against Kyiv will also result in Barcelona getting thrown back into the Europa League. 

Looking at the current position in Group E, Barcelona has to win or draw with a goal margin which has to be more than what Benfica has or will have at the end of matchday 6. 

Barcelona

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How can Barcelona save themselves?

The matchday 6 fixture is Bayern Munich vs Barcelona and Benfica vs Dynamo Kyiv.

Bayern Munich previously took down Barcelona by 3-0 at Camp Nou, which was heavily criticized by football pundits and fans around the world. Followed by another 3-0 defeat against Benfica. However, Barcelona found their way back by completing the double over Dynamo Kyiv by just winning by a goal margin in both fixtures. Barcelona had a great chance to fix the spot at 2nd but a 0-0 draw against Benfica has made it difficult for them to stay stable in their position and got their luck dragged out to the final matchday.

Their recently appointed manager Xavi has a big task up in his hands and has to pull off a miracle to save his struggling team from the hands of a fierce and in form Bayern Munich. A win is booking the final berth for Barcelona in the RO16. Even the goal difference can help Barcelona to get through if Benfica struggles against Kyiv.

In conclusion, it’s a do-or-die match for Barcelona, a win will ensure their place in the next stage. However, a draw or a loss will result in Barcelona dropping to Europa League.

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