On Tuesday, two clubs managed to advance to the knockout round of the Champions League. Both Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid will be participating in the next phase of the competition, and several other clubs could join them depending on their results Wednesday night.
Jose Mourinho's side are one of those clubs, so we decided to take a quick look at what could happen tonight with any of the three possible outcomes:
Chelsea defeat Maribor
If the Blues claim three points over Maribor on Wednesday, it's possible they could secure advancement, depending on the result of Schalke's game in Portugal. With a Schalke win or draw, Chelsea are assured a place in the knockout round, where a Sporting victory still leaves a remote, if highly unlikely possibility of finishing third.
That said, a Sporting victory or draw would leave the Blues needing just a draw in matchday five against Schalke in order to secure the top spot as well as advancement, where a Sporting loss would leave Mourinho's men needing three points in Germany to make the final match meaningless.
Chelsea draw against Maribor
A draw on Wednesday wouldn't be a great result, but shouldn't prove all that costly in the long run. Regardless of the result in Wednesday's other match, a draw would assure that victory in Germany sees Chelsea finish atop the group. Should Chelsea draw on Wednesday though, there is no scenario that sees them advance to the knockout round before their match in Germany.
Chelsea pull a City, and lose to Maribor
Yikes. If this scenario comes to pass, there is a very good chance that the final match of the group stage is going to be very, very important. If the Blues lose and Schalke win, Chelsea will need to win in Germany in order to control their own fate. If Sporting win on Wednesday, even a Chelsea victory against Schalke will probably leave them needing a win or draw in matchday six in order to advance.
Luckily, even a loss would see Chelsea in relatively good shape to advance, though there are just too many scenarios out there to bother getting into them all. Let's just not lose on Wednesday night, ok? If we do capitulate though, let's definitely keep the margin to five or less.