Liverpools best & worst case scenarios for Champions League draw
Liverpool will discover their Champions League fate for the upcoming season when the draw for the group stage is made on Thursday evening in Monaco.
Last seasons beaten finalists were handed a very favourable group last year, which they topped ahead of Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor, and will be hoping for more of the same this time around.
Liverpool will be in Pot 3 for the draw – meaning they are only guaranteed to avoid the likes of Schalke and Lyon – and there will be a host of European giants they could come up against…
BEST CASE SCENARIO
Liverpool's preferred draw
Pot 1: Lokomotiv Moscow
Pot 2: Porto
Pot 4: AEK Athens
There is one team in Pot 1 that every side will want to draw: Lokomotiv Moscow. They qualified as champions of Russia, though their UEFA coefficient (22.500) means there could be as many as 27 higher ranked sides in the competition. They have also started this season poorly, seven points adrift of league leaders Zenit after only five games.
By virtue of being in the same domestic league, Liverpool cannot draw Premier League rivals Manchester United or Spurs, arguably the best two teams in Pot 2, but there are still several difficult sides – Portuguese duo Porto and Benfica are perhaps the easiest. There are a few banana skins in Pot 4, but AEK Athens, as well as Viktoria Plzen, should be easy enough to overcome.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
Liverpool's nightmare draw
Pot 1: Real Madrid
Pot 2: Napoli
Pot 4: Hoffenheim
There are plenty of teams to fear in Pot 1, none more so than defending champions Real Madrid who beat the Merseysiders in last years final. Drawing a Spanish side, with Barcelona and Atletico also options, would leave the door open to landing some of the fearsome Bundesliga and Serie A sides lurking in other pots.
While Liverpool cannot be drawn against another Premier League side in Pot 2, Jurgen Klopps old club Borussia Dortmund are potential opponents, while Italian sides Napoli and Roma would offer very stern tests. Even Pot 4 is littered with potentially dangerous teams, such as Hoffenheim and Inter Milan.
WHEN IS THE DRAW AND HOW CAN I WATCH IT?
The draw for this years Champions League takes place on Thursday, August 30 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The build-up begins at 6pm BST, with the draw itself expected to take place half an hour later, and can be watched either on BT Sport or via the live stream on Uefa.com.
WHEN WILL THE MATCHES TAKE PLACE?
Each team will play their group opponents twice, home and away, over six gameweeks. The group stage begins in the middle of September and runs until December, with matches played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Champions League group stage dates
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