No country has had five teams in the next phase of the UEFA Champions League previously, but this could be about to change when group E leaders, Liverpool take on Russian side, Spartak Moscow at Anfield. With 12 teams through to the round of 16, seven will compete for the remaining four spots on Wednesday.
12 teams have reached the #UCL Round of 16… Who will join them? 🤔
🏴 Manchester City
🏴 Man United
🇪🇸 Real Madrid
🏴 Tottenham pic.twitter.com/4JA04xqsu6
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 5, 2017
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Four of England’s five representatives this season are through, with Liverpool the last one standing. But can the Reds make it a clean sweep for the PL?
Manager, Jurgen Klopp, certainly believes so- that Liverpool are poised to progress, and says his team must show its quality, with Anfield also having a role play.
“I really think the atmosphere can and should help us tomorrow,” Klopp told uefa.com. “We all know how special this place can be in specific moments and that’s what I am looking for, that’s what I want and that’s what hopefully everybody knows. Thank god it’s a little bit cold so everyone needs to move to keep kind of warm.
"We have a very important job to do tonight – and that means all of us connected with Liverpool Football Club."
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 6, 2017
“we have to prove our quality, every day, especially every matchday.”
The former Borussia Dortmund boss also added that the game at Anfield is one his side must not ‘take for granted’.
“Tomorrow [today] is a very important match for us,” he added. “I don’t want to make it bigger than it is but it is very big.
“We need to prepare for tomorrow [today]. I am really happy about it, but I cannot take it for granted, and the boys cannot take it for granted.”
Klopp: 'It will be an exciting game. That’s how Champions League should be.'
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 5, 2017
Liverpool need a draw to qualify, but a win will see them emerge as group winners.
Klopp’s side remain unbeaten in their five games so far- though three have ended in stalemate, and are currently top of group E, on nine points, one ahead of Sevilla, who are away AF Maribor.
However, despite Liverpool’s strong position going into the final group game, one result they cannot afford is a loss, which would see them below Spartak and Sevilla in a two-way or three-way head-to-head.
In other group games, Manchester City, who are through as group F winners, take on Shakhtar Donetsk, who must avoid defeat to keep their hopes alive.
Napoli must win at Feyenoord to stand any chance at all, and hope that City do them a favour in Ukraine.
The race for second spot heats up as well in group G, where Porto and RB Leipzig are locked in a battle for who joins group winners, Besiktas, in the next round.
We've scored 4️⃣ goals at home in the @ChampionsLeague so far…
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) December 4, 2017
Both sides are on seven points, but while Porto host already eliminated Monaco, Leipzig are also at home to Besiktas.
Group H has already been decided, with Tottenham and Real Madrid having qualified as group winners and runners-up respectively.
Full Wednesday fixtures
Liverpool vs Spartak Moscow
Maribor vs Sevilla
Feyenoord vs Napoli
Shakhtar vs Man. City
Porto vs Monaco
RB Leipzig vs Besiktas
R. Madrid vs B. Dortmund
Tottenham vs Apoel