Champions League Group Stage Draw This Week: What Would Be the Most Interesting Pairings?

High Press 10 August 25, 2019 2437 Reads
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The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw is this Thursday, August 29th at 12pm ET.

The draw will take place after the last playoff qualification games conclude on Tuesday and Wednesday. Among those still trying to qualify this year include Ajax, Young Boys, Olympiakos, and Red Star Belgrade.

Skip down to the bottom if you just want the most interesting pairings.

Also read: 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Title Odds

How the Champions League Group Stage draw works

Here’s how the Champions League Group Stage draw works, in simplest terms:

  • Clubs are divided into four Pots based mostly on their domestic league and UEFA competition finishes from the previous season. Because Premier League teams won the UCL (Liverpool) and Europa League (Chelsea) last year, England places three teams in Pot 1.
  • From there, a coefficient ranking is applied to teams for Pot placement.
  • Teams from the same domestic league cannot play each other in the Group stage.
  • The four major divisions (England, Germany, Spain, Italy) get four automatic bids. France and Russia get three automatic bids.
  • The other major domestic leagues have a number of qualification hurdles to jump through to make the Group draw.

Champions League Group Stage Pots

Here are the pot options pre-qualification playoffs:

Pot 1:

  • Liverpool (via UCL win)
  • Chelsea (via Europa League win)
  • Barcelona
  • Manchester City
  • Juventus
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Bayern Munich
  • Zenit St. Petersburg

Pot 2:

  • Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Napoli
  • Shakhtar Donesk
  • Tottenham

Pot 2 or 3 (TBD):

  • Benfica
  • Lyon

Pot 3:

  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Valencia
  • Inter Milan

Pot 3 or 4 (TBD)

  • Lokomotiv Moscow
  • Genk
  • Galatasaray
  • RB Leipzig

Pot 4

  • Atalanta
  • Lille

Most Interesting Group Stage Pairings

Ok, with that out of the way, here are the Group pairings we’d most like to see.

The Most Exciting Bracket

Looking for open, exciting play with home and aways with passionate fan bases?

  • Liverpool
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Lille

The built in Jurgen Klopp story lines of Liverpool vs BVB are obvious, but those games would be wildly entertaining. Two teams many feel destined to finish second in their domestic leagues but who could and maybe should win it this year. Red Bull and Lille would make this a competitive pairing where every match is must see.

The F*ck City Bracket

Sick of FFP violating / human rights abusing Manchester City? How about this stacked group:

  • Manchester City
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Inter Milan
  • Galatasaray

What, Atleti, not Real Madrid? Diego Simeone has the defensive pieces to thwart City’s attack. Inter Milan is on the rise. Galatasaray is more than a sacrificial lamb.

Yeah, City would still advance. But at least it’ll be interesting and give their bandwagon fans hope before they eventually bottle in the quarters.

The Chaos Bracket

Looking for unexpected results where we won’t know who is going to advance until the final leg day?

  • Chelsea
  • Ajax
  • Lokomotiv Moscow
  • RB Leipzig

🤷‍♀️

The Drama Bracket

  • PSG
  • Real Madrid

Doesn’t really matter who fills this one out. Give us PSG and Real Madrid and let the drama unfold.

 

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