Sunday 19 November 2017

Liverpool Champions League group: Best and worst possible scenarios from the draw

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Jordan Henderson of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs round second leg match between Liverpool FC and 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield on August 23, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Jordan Henderson of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs round second leg match between Liverpool FC and 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield on August 23, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Evan Bartlett

Liverpool will return to the Champions League group stages for the first time in three years after beating Hoffenheim 6-3 on aggregrate to qualify for Europe's elite competition.

Jurgen Klopp's side will discover the three teams they are due to face in the Champions League group stage in the draw which takes place in Monaco at 5pm BST on Thursday afternoon.

Each of the 32 teams will be divided into four pots and then drawn into eight different groups – comprising of one team from each pot.

We already know the composition of Pot 1 – with current holders Real Madrid being grouped alongside the champions of the other top seven leagues in Europe based on Uefa’s coefficient rankings.

In England’s case, that means Premier League champions Chelsea are in Pot 1, while Manchester United and Manchester City are placed in Pot 2. Tottenham are in Pot 3 alongside Liverpool while Celtic will be in Pot 4.

Here are Liverpool’s worst case scenarios:

Real Madrid

PSG

Liverpool

RB Leipzig

Because the Reds are in Pot 3, they will draw one team from each of Pots 1 and 2 which contain the highest-ranked teams in Europe.

That means they could face a horrible group with the likes of current holders Real Madrid (Pot 1), the super-rich PSG (Pot 2) and Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig from Pot 4.

Juventus

Barcelona

Liverpool

Feyenoord

Should Liverpool avoid Real Madrid from Pot 1 - and draw last season's runners-up Juventus instead - that would open up Spanish sides Barcelona and Atletico from Pot 2.

Bayern Munich

Atletico

Liverpool

Sporting

They could also draw Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich from Pot 1 and the likes of Portuguese side Sporting, Russian side CSKA Moscow or Dutch champions Feyenoord from Pot 4.

Here are Liverpool's best case scenarios:

Spartak

Porto

Liverpool

Apoel

The lowest ranked sides in Pot 1 (according to Uefa club coefficient rankings) are Russian champions Spartak Moscow and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Shakhtar

Sevilla

Liverpool

Maribor

Of teams in Pot 2, Sevilla appear to be the weakest although they are notoriously difficult to beat in Europe and defeated the Reds in the 2015 Europa League final. Klopp could also face his former side Borussia Dortmund from Pot 2.

Benfica

Dortmund

Liverpool

Qarabag

​Klopp will be eyeing up the likes of Slovenian side Maribor, the Azeri team Qarabag and Cypriot champions Apoel Nicosia from Pot 4.

Independent News Service

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