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Champions League: What do Barcelona need to qualify for the last 16?

There’s still work to do

FC Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Barcelona: Group H - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona take on Porto on Tuesday in the Champions League with qualification for the knockout stages still up for grabs in Group H.

Barca missed the chance to qualify last time out when they suffered a surprise defeat to Shakhtar, meaning they’ve been joined at the top of the group by Porto on nine points.

Shakhtar are just three points behind, and face whipping boys Antwerp next, meaning an intriguing final few games await in Europe’s premier club competition.

The Catalans have failed to get out of the group stages in recent seasons, making it imperative they do not fail again this time around.

The good news for Xavi and Co. is that they still have their destiny in their owns hands. They will qualify if they win, or if they draw and Shakhtar don’t beat Antwerp. Barca can even seal top spot if they take the three points and Shakhtar fail to win.

Yet Shakhtar will be expected to beat Antwerp comfortably. Mark van Bommel’s side haven’t managed a single point yet and are all but eliminated already.

If Barca and Porto draw and Shakhtar win, things get quite tight. The result would mean Xavi’s side go through but still need a win against Antwerp to confirm top spot.

Of course the situation gets worse if Porto beat Barcelona. In that case Xavi’s side would need to beat Antwerp and see what happens in the other tie.

There’s still a possibility that Barca, Porto and Shakhtar could all finish on 12 points. In such a case qualification would be decided on the results and the goals scored in the games between the three teams.

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