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Who can Bayern Munich face in the Champions League group stage? (Update: Final pots confirmed)

With the final round of qualifying matches still left to play, here’s an overview of who’s in the UCL draw this year.

The Top European Football Club Badges Photo by Visionhaus

A new season of the UEFA Champions League is about to begin. It’s only been a little over a year since Bayern Munich last won the competition, but our triumph is already getting a bit rusty. Teams like Chelsea and PSG look determined to make aggressive inroads into the competition, and it’s up to Julian Nagelsmann and his boys to figure out a way to deal with them.

Which brings us to this draw. The group stage is where the the road to Istanbul begins for every team, and the final matchups will be determined on Thursday this week. Here’s a quick overview of the rules:

  • No team can draw an opponent from the same country, so Bayern can’t get Borussia Dortmund in their group.
  • Teams are split into four seeding pots. Pot 1 is made up of the champions of the top leagues + the UCL and Europa League holders. Pot 2 and 3 are based on UEFA club coefficients, while Pot 4 is determined by playoffs.

Who will take part in the draw?

Here’s a quick look at the pots.

Pot 1: Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Atlético de Madrid, Villarreal, Inter Milan, Sporting, Lille

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund

Pot 3: Porto, Ajax, Leipzig, Atalanta, Zenit Saint Petersburg (confirmed)

Pot 3 or Pot 4: Based on playoffs.

The final phase of qualifying takes place on Wednesday, with the following teams taking part:

Champions path

Salzburg (AUT) vs Brøndby (DEN)
Young Boys (SUI) vs Ferencváros (HUN)
Malmö (SWE) vs Ludogorets (BUL)
Sheriff (MDA) vs GNK Dinamo (CRO)

League path

Monaco (FRA) vs Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Benfica (POR) vs PSV (NED)

If you want to know what the “Champions Path” and “League Path” means, I suggest you ask UEFA. I really don’t know what’s going on there, and I’m not about to find out.

The worst case scenario

Given what we know about the groups so far, here’s a group that could really give Bayern some conniptions:

  • Bayern Munich
  • Liverpool
  • Atalanta
  • RB Salzburg

That kind of a draw basically guarantees a dogfight in every single game. Imagine a group where every single team tries to out-gegenpress each other — that’s what you have there. It would be a total nightmare. Let’s hope we don’t end up in a group like that.

Do you agree with my picks? What kind of draw do you want? Comment below! We’ll update this preview as the final pots get confirmed, so stay tuned.


Update

The final pots have been confirmed!