With today’s Champions League qualifiers now finished and in the books, seeding is completely settled as we look forward to tomorrow’s Champions League group draw. There is a lot at stake here.
Last year, because we were in Pot 3, we landed in the group of death with Borussia Monchengladbach, Juventus, and Manchester City. Here at Monchi’s Men we blindly and over-optimistically charged forward into the group… I think we all know how that ended. Although the narrative of the season turned out OK for us in the end, I’m assuming that most people around these parts would like to see this year’s CL adventure last a little longer.
The way it works is that league winners and the defending champion get the #1 seeds in Pot 1. After that, it’s based on UEFA coefficient. Since we are awesome, that means we’re in Pot 2. This is HUGE since we will likely avoid being in a group of death this season. You also can’t be drawn with another team from your country. Of course, in Pot 1 there still remain teams that would be nice to avoid (like PSG, Juventus, and Bayern Munich) and teams that might be relatively soft (like Leicester, Benfica, or CSKA Moscow).
Here are the groups, what do you think? What would be the toughest group? What would be easiest? What would carry the most intriguing narrative/back story?
Seeded Pot 1: Real Madrid (holders), Barcelona, Leicester City, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, PSG, CSKA Moscow
Pot 2: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Manchester City, Sevilla, Porto, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen
Pot 3: FC Basel, Tottenham Hotspur, Dynamo Kiev, Lyon, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting CP, Club Brugge, Borussia Monchengladbach
Pot 4: Celtic, AS Monaco, Besiktas, Legia Warsaw, Dinamo Zagreb, Ludogorets Razgrad, FC Copenhagen, Rostov