We broke down Chelsea's qualifying and tie-breaker scenarios immediately following our 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel a fortnight ago, but in case you need a refresher ahead of Wednesday's do-or-die match, here'a a quick rundown.
Do Chelsea need to win against Porto?
Technically, no. If Dynamo Kiev fail to beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Chelsea will advance as at least the second seed.
Will Dynamo Kiev fail to beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv?
But anything can happen, no?
Theoretically, that's true. But in all likelihood, Dynamo will have no trouble with Maccabi. The Israeli champions have scored just 1 goal (and that from the penalty spot) while conceding an average of 3 on their way to five losses from five so far in the group stages. Dynamo beat them 2-0 on matchday 1, and Maccabi were the home team!
What happens if Chelsea lose to Porto?
We drop into the Europa League (if Dynamo win) or finish second (if Dynamo don't win). And before you think the Europa League an easier route to a trophy and qualification for next season's Champions League, consider that Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs, and many others doing far-far better than we are this season are already there.
What happens if Chelsea win against Porto?
We win the group, advance as a first seed to the knockout round. Potential opponents would include PSG (again), PSV, Benfica, Juventus, and the other three second seeds to be decided on Wednesday. Those others could include Roma and Valencia, but also maybe Olympiakos Piraeus and KAA Gent.
What happens if Chelsea draw with Porto?
This where it gets tricky -- see our previous breakdown of the exact rules in effect -- but basically either Dynamo (if they beat Maccabi) or Porto would win the group and Chelsea would advance as the second seed. Even if Dynamo don't win, but Chelsea only draw, we'd still only get to be second seed (Porto would win the group). That's generally less preferable than advancing as the top seed. All other group winners are set already, and they include: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, and Zenit St. Petersburg. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other, so at least we'd avoid Manchester City.
So, Chelsea need a WIN or a DRAW. If we win, we win the group. If we draw, we get second. If we lose, we get third (if Dynamo win, as is highly likely) or second (if Dynamo shockingly lose or draw).