The fourth round of Champions League group stage fixtures is upon us and this week's matches have the potential to prove decisive in a number of groups. Halfway through the group stage, where the top two of each four team group advance, while third place is relegated to the Europa League, and fourth place goes home, some of Europe's biggest teams look set to cruise on through, while others are in for a bruising qualification fight.
Barcelona and Juventus in Group G as well as Chelsea and Sevilla In Group E are on course to reach the latter stages easily, but Group H is finely poised and could even see all sides with six points after four games depending on Tuesday's results.
In particular, last season's finalists Paris Saint-Germain are under massive pressure after a poor start to the campaign domestically and in Europe where only a win will do for beleaguered coach Thomas Tuchel as RB Leipzig visit Parc des Princes.
This is what we are looking forward to this midweek.
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GROUP H: Do or die for PSG
The mission is simple for the Ligue 1 giants: beat Tyler Adams' Leipzig at home in order to live to fight another day away at Manchester United next week.
Anything but a win will likely prove fatal to PSG's chances of reaching the latter stages and even a drop into the Europa League would be a disaster for a team that went all the way to final last season.
Les Parisiens have faced tricky situations in the group stage before -- notably back in 2018 -- and overcome them but they need to do so again with a third loss of the domestic season away at Monaco last week piling even more pressure on Tuchel and his men.
The situation is not as pressurized at Old Trafford with United set to host Istanbul Basaksehir but another surprise win for the Turkish champions against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men could really open the group up.
If the visitors were to emerge victorious and PSG beat Leipzig, Group H would be tantalizingly poised with each team on six points with two matches left to play.
Can PSG put their recent disarray behind them and can Basaksehir repeat their impressive victory from the last round of fixtures?
11 - @FCBarcelona have just earned 11 points after their opening eight games in @LaLigaEN this season, their worst tally at this stage since 1991/92 season, when they claimed #LaLiga champions. Patience#AtletiBarca #atleticobarcelona pic.twitter.com/SvPgxU0kvQ— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 21, 2020
GROUP G: Barca and Juve nearly there
Compared with Group H, Group G is far more straightforward with Barcelona leading the way and Juventus not far behind.
Despite their domestic struggles, Barca are 100% in continental competition and will fancy themselves against a Dynamo Kiev side already resigned to Europa League football, at best, even without talisman Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong who are both being left at home and out of the squad for some much needed rest.
A fatigued and depleted squad travelling to Ukraine could make things tough for Ronald Koeman's men after their loss away at Atletico Madrid but even a defeat here will probably not stop them from advancing and Gerard Pique's absence in an already undermanned defense makes USMNT's Sergino Dest a very likely starter.
Anything other than a Barca win would give Juventus a great chance to make up some of the ground lost in the pair's earlier meeting -- if they dish out another thumping to Ferencvaros.
Regardless of what happens this week, Group G appears to be more of a question of who tops the group rather than who will advance to the latter stages.
GROUP E: Chelsea and Sevilla on course
Locked on seven points apiece in a group with two Champions League debutants, Christian Pulisic's Chelsea and Sevilla are looking good to make it into the knockout rounds and Frank Lampard's men could confirm their safe passage from Group E with a win away at Rennes.
The French outfit started the season well but have started to struggle since their European campaign got underway and are on a worrying run of one solitary win from eight matches across all competitions and five defeats from their last six -- including back-to-back 3-0 losses to Chelsea and PSG.
Eduardo Camavinga's return will be a boost for Julien Stephan's men but it was not enough to avoid a 1-0 home loss to a mediocre Bordeaux side over the weekend.
Rennes and Krasnodar are left fighting to either pick up unexpected points against Chelsea and Sevilla this week or be left in a showdown in Russia next week to determine who will grab third place in the grouop and a Europa League berth.
GROUP F: Opportunity for Dortmund to seize control
Group F is tighter than most after a mixed bag of results that has Gio Reyna's Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge all in the mix to make it into the latter stages.
The Germans have an advantage with the Belgians visiting this Tuesday, but Lucien Favre's men need to take care of business to ensure that when Lazio visit next week it will be Dortmund heading into the match atop the group.
If Zenit Saint Petersburg can take points off of Lazio or Brugge that could decide Group F with the Russians already seemingly playing for third place and a Europa League spot at best.
Brugge and Zenit scoring unlikely away wins this matchday would really open up this group ahead of the two final rounds of games.