Premier League trio Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham could be drawn against the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stage
Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham will find themselves in Pot 2 for the Champions League draw later this summer.
There is no room for the three Premier League clubs among the top seeds, although English champions Manchester City have a place among the continent’s elite. Pot 1 is occupied by Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt as the respective holders of the Champions League and Europa League, as well as the champions of the continent’s top six leagues.
These include City from the Premier League, AC Milan from Serie A, Bayern Munich from the Bundesliga, Paris Saint-Germain from Ligue 1 and Porto from the Primeira Liga. As Real Madrid won the La Liga and Champions League double, the eighth spot in Pot 1 goes to Ajax as the Eredivisie champions.
Pots 2 to 4 are determined via the UEFA coefficient, which measures clubs’ results and performance in European competition over the last five years. Joining 2022 runners-up Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs as second seeds are Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and RB Leipzig.
Seven of the eight teams in Pot 3 are confirmed with Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan arguably the teams the English clubs will want to avoid as they could form a so-called group of death. Also seeded third are Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Sporting Lisbon and Bayer Leverkusen.
Benfica will take the final spot in Pot 3 if they are successful in qualifying, while Rangers, Dinamo Zagreb and Marseille are among those in contention if the Portuguese giants fall short. Otherwise, the trio will be in Pot 4.
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Only two teams are confirmed as fourth seeds: Scottish champions Celtic and Belgian champions Club Brugge, who have qualified automatically. The other six teams will need to qualify for the group stage, with the preliminary round getting underway on 21 June and the play-offs wrapping up in late August.
The Champions League proper will get underway in early September after the group-stage draw is conducted at UEFA’s Swiss headquarters in Nyon on Thursday 25 August. As always, each group will feature one team from each pot and there can be no more than one club from each country in the same group.
Real Madrid are the defending champions after edging out Liverpool in a hard-fought final on Saturday 28 May. Vinicius Junior scored the only goal at Stade de France just before the hour mark to set Los Blancos on course for their 14th European crown and break Liverpool hearts.