BARCA hold all the aces

PARIS - Holders Barcelona can secure a place in the Champions League knockout stage even if they lose at Dynamo Kiev today, but Inter Milan face a winner-takes-all home encounter with Rubin Kazan.

PARIS - Holders Barcelona can secure a place in the Champions League knockout stage even if they lose at Dynamo Kiev today, but Inter Milan face a winner-takes-all home encounter with Rubin Kazan.

All four teams in Group F will go into their final group games with hopes of going through, but pool leaders Barcelona hold the strongest hand.

Pep Guardiola's side have slipped into top gear in recent weeks, defeating Inter 2-0 in their last Champions League assignment and edging domestic rivals Real in the first "Clasico" of the season.

Barca can afford to lose by any two-goal scoreline other than 2-0 in Kiev, due to their 2-0 victory over the Ukrainians in the reverse fixture, while a 0-0 or 1-1 draw will be enough for Inter at home to freshly crowned Russian champions Kazan as long as Dynamo do not win.

Inter's lead at the top of Serie A was cut to four points when they lost 2-1 at Juventus on Saturday but they will be bolstered by the return to fitness of Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

Liverpool's catastrophic exit from the competition made the headlines in Group E, with Fiorentina travelling to Anfield knowing that victory will secure top spot in the group ahead of Lyon.

Should Fiorentina fail to beat Liverpool, Lyon must win by two goals at home to the group's bottom side Debrecen to snatch top spot and secure a potentially favourable draw in the last 16.

Romanians Unirea Urziceni will qualify for the knockout phase in their first-ever Champions League season if they draw at Stuttgart in Group G.

Sevilla will seal top spot with a point at home to Rangers.

Arsenal sewed up Group H with a 2-0 win at home to Standard Liege last time out and Arsene Wenger's men travel to an Olympiakos side that needs a point to progress.

Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar cannot make the next round but will take the Europa League qualifying spot with victory at Standard Liege. - Sapa-AFP

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