Tottenham will be in next season’s Champions League group stage, and Liverpool are two qualifying games away, but what awaits them might mean they go no further in the competition than that.
That’s because of the way UEFA’s Champions League coefficients and seeding systems work, placing the 32 teams in four pots of eight based on several criteria.
Pot one is set aside for league champions only, with the remaining three decided on coefficient, which depends on each team’s history in Europe over the last five years.
A Champions League qualifier to look forward to next season. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/ApftAz6Fih
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 21, 2017
The result of all that is that Liverpool, should they qualify, will be in pot three, while Tottenham could be in pot two. However, Spurs will find themselves in pot three also if Manchester United win their Europa League final against Ajax this week, due to the Manchester club’s higher Uefa coefficient.
So if both Spurs and Liverpool find themselves in pot three, they will face a team from each of these pots (neither can face Chelsea or Manchester City due to Uefa rules).
Pot one: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Monaco, Benfica, Spartak Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk.
Pot two: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Paris St-Germain, Porto, Basel (who could be in pot three depending on who reaches the tournament via the qualifying round).
So Liverpool or Tottenham could find themselves in a group with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, or Bayern Munich and Barcelona, or Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Ouch.
However, as always there is a chance each side could find themselves with a favourable group – joining Benfica and Basel for example is a possibility.
All will be revealed on August 24.