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Advancement scenarios for the final match day of UEFA Champions League

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Who will be moving on? Who will win their group? Here's all the answers you'll need to prepare for the final group stage matches.

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By Thursday the group stages of the 2014-15 Champions League will be completed. It certainly feels like things just kicked off in Europe's biggest international club tournament, but somehow we've managed to buzz saw our way through 80 matches since Sept. 17, which means we're WAY more efficient than that chainsaw guy in Portland.

Ahead of us over the next two days are 16 more games. 16 matchups that will determine who advances to the knockout rounds, who is demoted to the Europa League and who goes home with a cash prize from UEFA. In some groups things are pretty straightforward, in others it's a bit more complicated, but fear not, I am here to guide you through the scenarios in all eight Champions League groups so you can impress your friends at the water cooler.

Because you DO talk about soccer at the water cooler ... RIGHT?!! You don't? Shame on you.

Group A

Atlético Madrid, last year's UCL runner-up, lead the group and are through to the next round no matter what happens this week. Juventus sit in second place and host Atléti needing a win or a draw to claim second place, or potentially grab first. Olympiakos are in third and face last-place Malmo, needing a win over the Swedes combined with a Juve loss to advance on the fourth tiebreaker, head-to-head away goals.

Group B

Despite having just one win and four points, Liverpool remain alive in the race for second place in Group B. Real Madrid are a perfect 5-0 and will finish first no matter what happens in their match against Ludogorets or the Reds' match against Basel. If Basel want to remain in second place and move on, they simply need to win or draw against Liverpool, while Liverpool must defeat Basel to advance to the knockout round.

Group C

This group is wide open with three teams still alive and both first and second place still in play. Current group leaders Bayer Leverkusen (9 points) travel to Portugal to face Benfica -- who've already been eliminated -- needing a win to guarantee first place. Second place Monaco (8 points) face third place Zenit St. Petersburg (7 points) needing just a draw to advance to the knockout round. There are several twists and turns this group could take though, so bear with me a second.

  • If Monaco wins and Leverkusen loses, Monaco wins the group with the Germans finishing second.
  • If Monaco and Zenit draw AND Leverkusen draws, the Germans are first with Monaco second. Zenit must win to advance and could top the group if they defeat Monaco AND Leverkusen loses.
  • A Zenit win combined with a Leverkusen draw would leave the two teams tied, but the Germans would take first place on head-to-head tiebreaker.

Group D

Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are through to the knockout round while Anderlecht has secured third place and a spot in the Europa League. Despite all that, the final match day still matters for the Gunners and BVB. There are two paths to first place for the Gunners. The "easy" way is for the Gunners to defeat Galatasaray in Turkey and have Dortmund lose to Anderlecht. The "hard" way requires Dortmund to draw while Arsenal win their match by six goals or more. For the Germans a win over Anderlecht secures first place.

Group E

Bayern Munich have 12 points and will finish first place in this group no matter what happens this week. As for second place, things are a bit more complicated. Roma, CSKA Moscow and Manchester City all have five points, which means there are all sorts of things that could happen on Wednesday.

  • If Roma defeats Manchester City they finish second no matter what CSKA Moscow does against Bayern thanks to the Italians holding the "superior goal difference from the group matches played between the two sides in question" tiebreaker. If the Italians draw, they need CSKA to lose or draw in order to advance.
  • Thanks to the tiebreakers, CSKA Moscow's only path to the knockout round requires them to defeat Bayern Munich and have Roma draw against City.
  • Manchester City must defeat Roma and hope CSKA draws or loses to Bayern. Anything less than a win for City means they cannot advance.

Group F

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are both through to the knockout round and conveniently face one another on the final match day with first place on the line. PSG has 13 points to Barca's 12, meaning the French club claims first place with a win or draw against the Blaugrana. If Barca want to finish first they must defeat PSG. It's really that simple.

Group G

Chelsea are through to the knockout round and have secured first place in the group as well. Second place remains up for grabs, though Sporting Lisbon have the clear advantaged thanks to their two-point lead over Schalke 04. Sporting claims second with a win or draw against Chelsea while Schalke's only chance to advance requires them to defeat Maribor and hope Sporting loses to Chelsea.

Group H

This group is over in terms of who advances and which teams finish first and second. Porto have won the group while Shakhtar Donetsk will finish second. Athletic Bilbao and BATE cannot advance, but third place and a spot in the Europa League remains up for grabs between those two clubs.