Champions League: Where Real Madrid's last-16 hopes stand
Having beaten Galatasaray in Istanbul in October, Real Madrid are in a much healthier position in Group A - but finishing top still looks all but impossible.
Real Madrid's win at Galatasaray in October secured three vital points that left them much better placed to progress to the Champions League last 16.
Having been restricted to a draw and a defeat in their first two Group A games, Madrid moved onto four points and also gained the head-to-head upper hand on Galatasaray. Bottom of the group before the clash in Istanbul, they took over the second qualification spot and left the Turks facing elimination.
With three matchdays to go, Madrid are two points ahead of Club Brugge and three in front of Galatasaray, with part two of their double-header with Fatih Terim's team coming up tonight at 21:00 CET. If Madrid win today's game at the Bernabéu, Galatasaray will be mathematically out, as they would be six points behind Los Blancos with the inferior head-to-head record, and would also be unable to catch PSG.
Group A table after three matchdays:
Another win over 'Galata' may leave Real on verge of last 16
It would then almost certainly be a straight fight for qualification with Brugge - but, having lost 5-0 at home to PSG last time out, the Belgians look odds-on to also come away empty-handed from their matchday-four trip to the Parc des Princes. If that happens, they will have just two points with two games left.
With that in mind, Madrid's second meeting with Galatasaray is shaping up as a potential opportunity for Zinedine Zidane's side to go five points clear of Brugge and leave themselves within reach of a last-16 place.
Madrid still extremely unlikely to win Group A
However, although Madrid are now in a much better position to qualify for the knockout stages, winning the group remains a very tall order. Having stayed five points clear of the Spaniards with their thumping win over Brugge, PSG's storming start to the Champions League shows no signs of letting up.
What's more, their 3-0 matchday-one win over Madrid means it will take an almighty turnaround for Zidane's men to finish with the better head-to-head record.
After hosting Galatasaray and PSG, Madrid finish up at Brugge
After playing Galatasaray, Madrid host PSG in matchday five on 26 November, before rounding off the group stage away at Brugge on 11 December.
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