Manchester City will be the Premier League’s representative in Pot 1 of Thursday’s Champions League draw.
Last year’s semi-finalists are still seeking a first success in Europe’s elite club competition, with their best effort missing out on the final in 2021. Pep Guardiola’s side will once again be favorites with the final in Istanbul – the scene of Liverpool’s stunning victory 17 years ago.
The Reds, along with Chelsea and Tottenham, all find themselves in Pot 2. Liverpool last won the competition in 2019 while the Blues and Thomas Tuchel were crowned European champions two years later. A late run last term saw Tottenham return to the Champions League.
Holders Real Madrid, French champions PSG and Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich are all in Pot 1 alongside AC Milan, Porto, and Ajax. Europa League champions Frankfurt will also be in Pot 1. The three English teams will be joined in Pot 2 by three La Liga outfits Barcelona, who have launched a heavy recruitment drive among them. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are on the other side of the pot as well as RB Leipzig and Juventus.
Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan are among the most challenging sides in Pot 3, with the Premier League side looking to avoid the two former champions. Napoli, Benfica, and Sporting Lisbon are also potential rivals, as are Red Bull Salzburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Rangers are the sixth British participants after they secured a qualifying victory over PSV Eindhoven. They will be in Pot 4 with Glasgow rivals Celtic and 1993 winners Marseille. Club Brugge, finalists in 1978, are also among those who could face Premier League competition.
Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb and Danish champions FC Copenhagen are also in Pot 4. Maccabi Haifa returned to the Champions League after a 13-year absence thanks to a last-minute goal in their qualifier. Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen completed 32 teams in this year’s competition.
Champions League pots
Red Bull Salzburg