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Champions League. Who’s out, who will still fight?
It's a Champions League day again and the last round of the group stage begins today. Some clubs have already booked their places in the play-offs and some others will fight till the last moment for a chance to play in the round of 16. Moreover, there will be a harsh competition for Europe League places, too. So we tell, who's out, who has everything secured and who will still fight for the right to live. Group A Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal have equal points (11) and top the group with the French side being the first thanks to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates stadium. They will meet Ludogorets and Basel respectively. If both of them record the same outcome, PSG will qualify from the first place. Ludogorets and Basel will fight for the third place. They both have 2 points. The first match between these clubs ended with a 1-1 draw. Ludogorets will qualify for Europe league only in case of victory or a 0-0 draw. All other outcomes guarantee a place for Basel in the Europe league playoffs. Group B The most unpredictable group. Three clubs are chasing the first place with neither of them being safe. Benfica and Napoli have 8 points both, though they meet each other today. Besiktas have 7 points and travel to Kyiv to face Dynamo. The latter has already lost all the chances to keep on playing in Europe. Benfica are now top of the group as they are the team with a higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question. The winner of Benfica - Napoli match will go through from the first place. If Besiktas lose to the already eliminated Ukrainian side, both Benfica and Napoli will qualify regardless of the result of their match. In case of a draw in Benfica - Napoli match, the Italian side will qualify since the first leg match ended with a 4-2 victory for Maruricio Sarri's men, given that Besiktas win. If Beşiktaş draw they will only progress if Napoli lose to Benfica. Group C A group where everything is already known. Barcelona top the group with 12 points being ahead of Manchester City which have 8 points in stock. Borussia Monchengladbach are the third with 5 points, while Celtic are fourth having won only two points. The Scot side cannot fight for the third place since they have lost once and drawn once against Borussia. Group D The first two places are already occupied. Atletico Madrid have managed to win all 5 group stage matches and will top the group regardless of the result in the upcoming clash against Bayern Munich. PSV and Rostov will fight for the third place to receive a right to play in Europe league. PSV proceed if and only if they beat the Russian side in a home game. All other results guarantee a promotion to Rostov.
PSG won’t be competing for Payet
PSG won't be competing for West Ham striker Dimitri Payet in January. The 29-year-old France international has been linked with PSG and Arsenal ahead of next month's winter market. Nonetheless, according to Le Parisian, PSG are claiming Payet isn't a priority.
Patrick Kluivert: “PSG want to extend contracts of four players”
PSG Director of Football Patrick Kluivert has announced that the club are hoping to sign four of their players to new deals in the near future. "We want to extend the contracts of Thiago Silva, Matuidi, Cavani, but not only them. I'm thinking notably of Rabiot. A young talent like Adrien, just like Marquinhos, is the future of the club," he said. "They are extremely important in our project. We all those players, the youngsters and the experienced ones, we would like to conclude things as quickly as possible. I'm optimistic by nature, I think they'll sign."
PSG eye Liverpool midfielder
Paris-Saint Germain are ready to break the bank to land Liverpool's England star Adam Lallana, The Sun on Sunday reports. They will reportedly offer him a £200,000 per week deal to go to the Parc des Princes in January. PSG are looking for options to boost their midfield and Lallana is believed to be an ideal candidate for this role.
Marquinhos: “contract is still not extended…”
PSG fullback Marquinhos admits there's been little movement over new contract talks. The 22-year-old defender has been a long-term target for Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona. "No, my contract is still not extended, but I'm in Paris," said Marquinhos. "I'm happy, it shows on the field, it's even seen in my life off the field. "This is a great moment for me when I think about it."
Matuidi denies he’s pushing to leave for Juventus
PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi has denied he's pushing to leave for Juventus. The 29-year-old midfielder's agent, Mino Raiola, has spoken of a potential January move to Turin. However, last night, the he stated: "Juventus? Right now I'm happy at PSG and I would give priority to the team. "I'm playing well. I'm all right here and right now I think only of my team and not of the market," he added.
Wenger: We gave away the second goal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shared his opinion about the game against PSG. "Two things are important: game speed, which we've shown during the match, and the result. The game was entertaining, we were down 0:1 and then came back to lead with two goals to one. And then we conceded an own goal. However, we played well against them. We have had some positive periods during the match but were not able to dominate. I am concerned about the fact, that we let them equalise when we were leading the score. We shouldn't have let them score so easily. We are lacking something to create moments, but the team is trying hard. This may be not enough in some ocassions, but who knows how the things will go on," Wenger said.
Emery happy working with Verratti
PSG boss Unai Emery insists he's happy working with Marco Verratti. The Italy midfielder and Emery fell out earlier this season, sparking talk of interest from Chelsea and Barcelona. Nonetheless, Emery stated: "He is a young player that PSG has taken even though everyone knew his qualities. "And I think that between PSG and Verratti it is a perfect marriage. And obviously for me it is a privilege to be able to count on a player who has great capacities of incredible growth and explosion. "I think we find the Verratti that everyone is waiting for. I'm sure he'll stay long."
Di Maria doubtful against Arsenal
PSG midfielder Angel Di Maria may miss the Champions league group stage match against Arsenal, which will take place today at Emirates stadium. Unai Emery confirmed that Di Maria is doubtful for this match in a pre-match press conference. "We are going to make a final decision on Areola and Di Maria only after the final training. We'll evaluate their fitness. I think, that Areola will be ready to play, while I have some doubts about Di Maria. He wants to play, but we will consult with the doctors and make final decision. We don't want to risk," Emery said.
Aurier isn’t getting carried away with big transfer interest
PSG fullback Serge Aurier isn't getting carried away with big transfer interest. The Ivory Coast international has been linked with Manchester United and Manchester City, while his representatives visited Barcelona last week. Nonetheless, Aurier insists his priority is to remain in Paris. "I have three years left on my contract," he told Telefoot. "I will continue playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world."