Liverpool’s Champions League group for the upcoming season will be drawn today, with The Reds situated in pot 2.
After suffering heart-break against Real Madrid in last season’s final, Liverpool should be raring to go again this time.
On the way to that ill-fated final, Liverpool actually drew one of the toughest groups they could have. Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan looked awful on paper. But Jurgen Klopp’s side made a mockery of the ‘group of death’ tags, winning six out of six.
This year, the opponents have the potential to be equally as difficult. There is, however, also a possibility that Liverpool could get off lightly. Here’s a look at The Reds’ best, and worst, possible groups.
The European Champions group
Pot 1 of the Champions League draw is looking a little light this year. Scanning the teams, there’s really only three that Liverpool would hope to avoid: Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern.
Any would provide stiff competition for Liverpool, but Madrid are surely the team to stay away from early doors.
Los Blancos have a great recent record against The Reds, and will be strong again this year. However, some supporters would no doubt like an early chance to avenge the defeats of Paris and Kyiv with a raucous evening at Anfield.
In contrast to its ‘superior’ pot, pot 2 actually looks littered with peril. Luckily Liverpool won’t have to face any of the giants lurking there.
Unluckily, pot 3 also contains a few potential banana skins. As Liverpool well know, Napoli is a tricky away trip and Borussia Dortmund will be tough, too. But after last season’s two games, Liverpool won’t want to face Inter Milan again.
Pot 4 has its usual mix of wildcards, and Liverpool would probably be best off avoiding a trip to the Velodrome to face Marseille. 24 European Cups between them. Not a bad group. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
Potential group of death: Real Madrid, Liverpool, Inter, Marseille
Europa winners and another trip to Portugal
On the flip-side, the draw could be very nice indeed to Liverpool. As Europa League winners, Eintracht Frankfurt take their place in pot 1 and, with respect, will be everyone’s choice from the lower pots.
Interestingly, pot 3 is actually pretty strong. There’s not much to choose between many of the teams in there, but given that they’ve lost some key players this summer, Sporting Lisbon may be the ‘kindest’ draw.
Finally, pot 4 is always a troublesome pot. Although Marseille probably represent the ‘grenade’ of the eight teams, all would provide their own different challenge for The Reds.
Liverpool won’t be too keen to test out the atmospheres at either Ibrox or Celtic Park, while Club Brugge are perennial qualifiers. As a result, purely because of the relatively close travel distance, Viktoria Plzen perhaps offer the best option here.
Potential best-case group: Eintracht Frankfurt, Liverpool, Sporting, Viktoria Plzen
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