What pot are we in? Who we can face? When will we play?

Whether it was by finishing third in the 2018-19 Premier League or by winning the UEFA Europa League, via both possible ways to do, Chelsea secured their place back into Europe’s elite club competition.

The UEFA Champions League.

We had secured our place in the competition next season via the league but by beating Arsenal in Baku last week, we secured our place amongst the top seeds.

So what do we know in terms of who we’re going to face and such?

Here’s the information that will help you…

WHEN IS THE GROUP STAGE DRAW?
The draw for the group stages of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League will take place on Thursday 29th August in Monaco.

WHO ARE THE TOP SEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON?
The eight teams that are named as top seeds for the group stages of the Champions League are reserved for the holders of the two European competitions (Champions League/Europa League) and the champions of the six strongest domestic leagues.

The six strongest domestic leagues in European football right now (based on 2018 UEFA country coefficients) are:

• La Liga (Spain)
• Premier League (England)
• Bundesliga (Germany)
• Serie A (Italy)
• Ligue 1 (France)
• Russian Premier League (Russia)

Along with the current Champions League and Europa League holders, the following eight teams to be in pot one (by association rank) are:

• Liverpool (UEFA Champions League holders)
• Chelsea (UEFA Europa League holders)
• Barcelona (La Liga champions)
• Manchester City (Premier League champions)
• Juventus (Serie A champions)
• Bayern Munich (Bundesliga champions)
• Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1 champions)
• Zenit St. Petersburg (Russian Premier League champions)

WHO CAN WE FACE?
We will be drawn alongside a team from each other pot but cannot be grouped with another Premier League side (so we cannot be paired with Tottenham Hotspur for example).

WHO WILL BE IN POTS 2, 3 & 4?
As of writing, the three other pots that will be used to determine the seedings for the group stage draw have not been finalised as some teams still need to come through the qualifying stages.

The pots are seen as provisional pots right now, but based on current UEFA rankings, here’s what to expect:

POT TWO
• Real Madrid
• Atlético Madrid
FC Porto*
• Tottenham Hotspur
• Borussia Dortmund
• Napoli
• Shakhtar Donetsk
Ajax*

POT THREE
• Benfica
Dynamo Kiev*
• Olympique Lyonnais
• Bayer Leverkusen
• Red Bull Salzburg
• Valencia
• Inter Milan
Celtic*

POT FOUR
FC Copenhagen*
• Dinamo Zagreb*

• Lokomotiv Moscow
• KRC Genk
• Galatasaray
• RB Leipzig
• Atalanta
• Lille

(*teams that must go through the qualifying stages)

Liverpool are the current UEFA Champions League holders after beating Tottenham Hotspur (Photo – UEFA)

WHEN WILL THE GROUP STAGE MATCHES BE PLAYED?
The group stage matches for this season’s UEFA Champions League will begin in September and take place over the six selected match days:

• 17th–18th September
• 1st–2nd October
• 22nd–23rd October
• 5th–6th November
• 26th–27th November
• 10th–11th December

WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST GROUP DRAW?
If we take the other three groups as finalised, here’s what could be seen as the ‘easiest’ possible group for Chelsea, which would give them a better chance at qualifying for the knockout stages in 2020:

• Chelsea
• Shakhtar Donetsk
• Celtic
• FC Copenhagen

WHAT WOULD BE THE ‘GROUP OF DEATH’?
If we take the other three groups as finalised, here’s what could be seen as the ‘group of death’ for Chelsea, which would make the odds of the Blues qualifying for the knockout stages in 2020 much harder:

• Chelsea
• Real Madrid
• Inter Milan
• Lille

CAN CHELSEA WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEXT SEASON?
At the time of writing, Chelsea are currently seen by bookmakers as 33/1 outsiders to win the tournament for a second time, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City being seen as the current favourites of bringing a first European Cup to the blue half of Manchester at 5/1.

Chelsea celebrating winning the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League after beating Bayern Munich in the final (Photo – Chelsea FC)

2019-20 Champions League winners (Odds – selected teams)
• Manchester City – 5/1
• Barcelona – 6/1
• Liverpool – 7/1
• Real Madrid – 8/1
• Paris Saint-Germain – 9/1
• Juventus – 10/1
• Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid – 12/1
• Tottenham Hotspur – 16/1
• Borussia Dortmund – 20/1
• Napoli – 25/1
• Chelsea, Inter Milan, Ajax – 33/1

Good luck to the Blues next season.

Terry Sazio

What are your thoughts on the seedings and odds of winning? Let us know via our official Twitter and via Terry’s personal Twitter as well.