Barça’s defeat in Glasgow and Benfica’s win over Spartak have somewhat changed the state of play in Champions League Group G. Barça are still top with 9 points, but Celtic are just two behind on 7, while the Portuguese side has 4 points and the Muscovites have 3. Here we analyse what it all means for FC Barcelona’s chances:
- Barça will be through to the last sixteen if they win their next game, which is in Moscow on November 20, for that would guarantee at least 12 points. But if Celtic win at Benfica, they would have 10 points and still have a chance of topping the group. Remember that after respective 2-1 home wins, the head-to-head between FCB and Celtic is equal, so if the same two clubs are tied on points it will come down to overall goal difference, which Barça currently lead, with +3 compared to Celtic’s +1.
- Barça would be group champions if they win at Spartak and Celtic fail to win at the Stadium of Light.
- A Barça draw in the Russian capital would also see them as good as though to the next round. Qualification wouldn’t be one hundred per cent certain due to the possibility of a three-way tie, which could still happen if Barça were to lose to Benfica at the Camp Nou on the final day. However, the scenario of a three-way tie would also require Celtic to lose in Portugal and then beat Spartak in the final game. Should that happen, the Catalans, Scots and Portuguese outfits would have ten points each.
- If Barça draw in Russia and Celtic can get at least a point at Benfica, then FCB would be safely through to the last sixteen.
- But if Barça lose in Moscow, the shape of the group would change dramatically. Depending on what happens later that same evening in Lisbon, all four teams might still have a chance of qualifying (or being eliminated) on the final day.