UEFA have confirmed the pots for their Champions League group stage draw for 2021-22, which will take place on Wednesday and involve four Premier League clubs hoping for favourable outcomes
The seeding pots for the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw have been confirmed.
While English teams cannot face each other until the quarter-final stage, there are set to be a number of mouthwatering ties thanks to the mix of elite sides in pots one and two.
Chelsea and Manchester City, last season’s finalists, have been drawn into pot one alongside Europa League winners Villarreal and Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
They will be joined by Bayern Munich, Lille, Inter Milan and Sporting Lisbon.
UEFA via Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Manchester United sit in pot two with Liverpool.
La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid join them with Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla.
In terms of Champions League history, pot two appears to be the more established compared to its higher ranked group of clubs.
Pot three is made up of Porto, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Leipzig, FC Salzburg, Benfica, Atalanta and Zenit St Petersburg.
The fourth pot consists of Besiktas, Dynamo Kiev, Club Brugge, Young Boys, AC Milan, Malmo, VfL Wolfsburg and Sheriff Tiraspol.
Across Tuesday and Wednesday, the final teams who qualified through the play-offs made it through.
Salzburg, Sheriff, Benfica, Malmo, Young Boys and Shakhtar Donetsk came out on top.
Benfica, Malmo and Young Boys all held leads as they travelled into their second legs and all indeed narrowly progressed on Tuesday.
In Wednesday’s action, Sheriff became the first Moldovan club to reach the Champions League group stage as they maintained their 3-0 advantage at Dinamo Zagreb.
Salzburg fended off Brondby to qualify like Shakhtar Donetsk, who needed extra-time to edge Monaco 3-2 on aggregate.
It is the first run of the competition since the creation and swift fall of the breakaway European Super League, which directly challenged the Champions League’s new format which is set to be introduced from 2024.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said that the 12 clubs involved ‘spat in the face of football fans’ and backed their owns plans for the revamped tournament.
“I wholeheartedly believe that the changes we announce (today) are exactly the required next step for European football’s evolution,” Ceferin stated, “They are exciting and, at their heart, they retain the values of the game that we all love.
UEFA/AFP via Getty Images)
“The reforms preserve the value and importance of the domestic game by retaining the principle that domestic performance should be the key to qualification. This should and will not ever change.
“This evolved format will still keep alive the dream of any team in Europe to participate in the UEFA Champions League thanks to results obtained on the pitch. It will enable long-term viability, prosperity, and growth for everyone in European football, not just a tiny, self-selected cartel,” he added.
“These changes and the support structure we are implementing reflect what our sport is all about. The new format preserves open competition in Europe, it recognises the importance of domestic football and, crucially, the world’s leading elite competitions remain a driving force that support the entire structure of European football.”
2021-22 UEFA Champions League group stage pots ahead of Wednesday’s draw (5pm BST)
Red Bull Salzburg
Zenit St Petersburg