English football could boast the rare privilege of having FIVE clubs in the Champions League this season.
If Liverpool can get past Hoffenheim – they lead 2-1 from the first leg – in their third-round qualifying tie at Anfield on Wednesday night, the Premier League’s representation will extend past the default of four.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City all qualified the routine way whilst Manchester United joined the elite level by winning the Europa League in May.
Chelsea are the only English side seeded in Pot 1, which features the title-winning teams from across Europe, while both Manchester clubs are grouped in Pot 2.
Tottenham and Liverpool – should the Reds get there – face the prospects of a more difficult challenge from Pot 3.
But what would be the best and worst case scenarios be for each side?
A best case scenario would see the Blues grouped alongside either Porto or Sevilla, Anderlecht and Maribor.
A worst case, however, could see a daunting trio of Barcelona, Napoli and RB Leipzig join them.
Spurs and Liverpool will have some work to do from Pot 3, but they could still strike luck with a favourable draw of Spartak Moscow, Porto or Sevilla and Maribor.
On the other hand, Real Madrid, PSG and RB Leipzig are also a distinct possibility.
MANCHESTER CITY/MANCHESTER UNITED:
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho shouldn’t see any problems against Spartak Moscow, Anderlecht and Maribor.
But on the flip side, the task of getting past Real Madrid, Napoli and RB Leipzig wouldn’t be welcomed by either boss.
As for Arsenal? Well, you know the rest…
POT 1: Real Madrid, Bayer Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk
POT2: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Manchester City, Porto, Manchester United
POT 3: Napoli, Tottenham, Basel, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Liverpool*, Roma, Besiktas
POT 4: Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Copenhagen, Sporting Lisbon, APOEL Nicosia, Feyenoord, Maribor, RB Leipzig
⚽CONTE OUT: The bookie's view⚽
- “WE’VE seen some unbelievable movement on Conte,” says Tim Reynolds, Sun Bets spokesman.
- ADD TO BETSLIP: Tuchel next Chelsea boss, 6/4
“Last night he was 14/1 to be the next Prem boss to go – now our traders have been forced to slash him to just 6/4.”
“And with Thomas Tuchel hovering that price will only go one way.”