The day actually begins early with the remaining minutes from the Galatasaray and Juventus match which determines who joins Real Madrid in the next stage. The other focal point of the final group stage matchday this season will be in the group of death, as Arsenal travel to play against Napoli while the injured team of Dortmund face Marseille in France.
In other groups, it’ll be very interesting to see how Ajax cope with Milan at the San Siro in a match they simply have to win, while Barcelona have a meaningless match against Celtic, which will mostly about getting a confidence boost for their league trials.
Group E – Chelsea vs Steaua; Schalke vs Basel
The more interesting match in this group with be in Germany, where Schalke (7 points) have to beat Basel (8 points) in order to finish in the top 2. Chelsea are at risk of losing the first place if they don’t beat the Romanians at home, but are guaranteed a spot in the next round even if they mess up again.
Group F – Marseille vs Dortmund; Napoli vs Arsenal
Arsenal (12 points) hold most of the cards heading into this one, needing a draw to finish on top of the group and playing against a team that has failed almost every major test they’ve faced this season. Napoli (9 points) need more than a win – they need Dortmund to fail at Marseille. The French side has 0 points, but they are facing a Dortmund side without a single healthy starter in their defense, which does give the Italian side some glimmer of hope they can better Dortmund’s result.
Group G – Austria Wien vs Zenit; Atletico Madrid vs Porto
Atletico (13 points) are already in the next round, and will finish first, which means they might let Porto get away with a win. No other result will be enough for the Portuguese side, who are one point behind Zenit and are also losing in the head to head with them. If Zenit win in Austria, it doesn’t matter what result Porto manage.
Group H – Barcelona vs Celtic; Milan vs Ajax
Ajax got quite screwed by the official when the two teams met in Amsterdam, Milan once again saved with a penalty kick that didn’t exist. Ajax have to win at the San Siro, and any other result will leave them playing in the Europa League. Barcelona need a draw to clinch the top spot in the group.