Liverpool will feature in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw this week. Who could the Reds get, though?
UEFA will perform the draw for the Champions League Group Stage on Thursday. That gives us just two days – and two more rounds of qualifying – before we know who Liverpool play.
So who could Liverpool get, exactly?
Champions League Group Stage draw
Liverpool will be in Pot 2 for this one – the first time that’s happened in a few years. As Champions of Europe and then Champions of England, the Reds had featured in Pot 1 the last two seasons.
But it’s Pot 2 this time around. Though, that’s not as scary as it usually is.
A series of upsets in Europe’s top leagues last season leaves Pot 1 looking weaker than usual. Especially as two of the teams are Premier League sides that Liverpool can’t play.
The Reds will play one of Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Internazionale, Lille, Sporting CP or Villarreal. Looking at that group, the first two are formidable but questions linger over the rest.
Inter, for instance, are champions of Italy but lost several key personnel this summer. Lille, too, lost their manager, while Sporting haven’t been at this level for a while.
Villarreal are a very good team but you’d back Liverpool to deal with them relatively comfortably.
Now, we don’t yet know pots 3 and 4 in full – qualifiers this week will decide those. But there are a couple of very good sides in there.
Pot 3 will feature Porto, RB Leipzig and Ajax. It may have Benfica, too, if they move past PSV in qualifying.
Atalanta, opponents from last year, will be in either Pot 3 or Pot 4. AC Milan will be in the latter, too.
So there are still some difficult clubs in the lower pots that Liverpool could face. It certainly makes up for the lack of giants in Pot 1 – you can dodge a bullet to begin with but still end up with a tricky group.
So the worst case, in our opinion, looks like this: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, RB Leipzig, Milan.
And as for a best-case: Sporting, Liverpool, Zenit, Ludogorets.
We’d back Liverpool to get through in both, of course, but there’s no doubting that the latter would make things easier for Jurgen Klopp and co.