Who could Premier League clubs face in Champions League group stage?
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 26/05/17 10:54am
Manchester United will be among five Premier League teams in next season's Champions League after winning the Europa League on Wednesday.
Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored as United beat Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm to secure their place in the 2017/18 Champions League.
But who could United and the other four Premier League teams face in Europe next season? And why was United winning the Europa League potentially bad news for Tottenham? Here's all you need to know about the draw and seedings…
Who's in the draw?
There are five teams from the Premier League in next season's Champions League - Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Chelsea, Spurs and City qualify for the group stage automatically through their league position, as do United after winning the Europa League, but Liverpool must navigate a play-off after finishing fourth.
How does the draw work?
The 32 teams that qualify for the group stages of the Champions League are split into four pots and then drawn into four groups of eight.
The teams that qualify directly for the group stages are 12 league champions, six runners-up, three third-place teams from the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga, and the winner of the Champions League.
2017/18 Champions League pots
- Pot 1 (confirmed): Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco, Spartak Moscow
- Pot 2 (provisional): Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris St-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Manchester City, Porto, Manchester United
- Pot 3 (provisional): Napoli, Tottenham, Basel, Dynamo Kiev, Ajax, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Liverpool
- Pot 4 (provisional): Feyenoord and Leipzig, along with qualifying teams, which could include Roma, Celtic and Copenhagen
If the Champions League winners also qualify for the competition through their league position then the Europa League winners enter in the group stage, as has happened this season with Manchester United.
There are then 10 teams who qualify for the group stages through the play-off rounds.
Who's in which pot?
The only confirmed pot is Pot 1, which features the Champions League winner and seven domestic champions from the 2016/17 season. The eight teams, which are decided by UEFA's coefficient rankings, are Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, AS Monaco, Spartak Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk.
The other three pots are seeded by the coefficient rankings over the last five years and are not yet confirmed as Serie A has not finished and teams must secure their place through play-offs.
Pot 2 will feature Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris St-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Porto and Manchester United. Sevilla will also be included in Pot 2 if they come through the play-off round due to their strong coefficient.
Why Spurs will probably be in Pot 3
• Spurs have a coefficient of 77.192
• If Man Utd had not won the Europa League, therefore didn't qualify for the Champions League, then Spurs' coefficient would have been the best in Pot 3
• They would then have moved up into Pot 2 if Sevilla (112.942) OR Napoli (88.666) do not qualify for the group stage
• However, because Man Utd (95.192) are now in the draw, Spurs need both Sevilla AND Napoli not to qualify to move up to Pot 2
United's place in Pot 2 means Tottenham look set to drop down to Pot 3.
That will only change if Sevilla and Napoli, both of whom have a superior coefficient to Spurs, fail to make it to the group stage.
Napoli are third in Serie A heading into the final weekend, one point behind Roma in second, and third place in Italy is only good enough for a play-off. But if both Sevilla and Napoli qualify through the play-off round they will go into Pot 2 and Pot 3 respectively, with Spurs joining the Italian side.
If Liverpool come through their play-off round they will be in Pot 3. Celtic will likely be in Pot 4 unless several teams with stronger coefficients fail to make it to the group stages.
Who could face who?
Teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other in the group stages. Every team is drawn against one other team from the other three pots to form a four-team group.
So Manchester United could be drawn against Real Madrid, Napoli and Feyenoord. Or they could potentially face Spartak Moscow, Anderlecht and Salzburg.
A potentially tough draw for Liverpool or Spurs could see them meet Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain and Roma.
When is the group stage draw?
The draw takes place on Thursday, August 24 in Monaco.