On 29 August, 32 of Europe’s elite clubs will learn their fate in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League. The competition’s Group Stage drawing ceremony will be held in Monaco.
Having won the English Premier League last season, Manchester City will be one of the seeded teams in Pot 1, but how have City’s opponents been seeded?
Club Seedings for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw
Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur, Benfica, Lyon and Ajax (should they overcome APOEL in the final round of qualifiers)
Bayer Leverkusen, Red Bull Salzburg, Valencia, Inter Milan, Olympiacos/Krasnodar, Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, and LASK/Club Brugge
Dinamo Zagreb/Rosenborg, Young Boys/Red Star Belgrade, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Lille, CFR Cluj/Slavia Praha and APOEL (should they overcome Ajax in the final round of qualifiers)
Assessing City’s Hardest and Easiest Draws
Six more teams will learn their fate as they compete in the final round of the Champions League qualifiers. The first leg of the competition will be held on 20/21 August while the second leg will be held on 27/28 August.
Nonetheless, City can start mentally preparing for their opponents. They will be fortunate to avoid the likes of Barcelona and Bayern München, two teams that have traditionally troubled the Sky Blues in the competition, as they are also seeded in Pot 1. City, however, may face the likes of Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Borussia Dortmund or Napoli, meaning it will be no cakewalk in the Group Stage. With the pots revealed and these clubs in mind, Bitter and Blue previews the following few outcomes that would be City’s hardest and easiest route into the Champions League Round of 16.
Group of Death Scenario
Manchester City, Atlético de Madrid, Inter Milan and RB Leipzig
Hardest Group by Geographical Distance
Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympiacos (if they qualify) and Galatasaray
Best Outcome Which Would See City Finish Top of the Group
Manchester City, Benfica, LASK/Club Brugge and Atalanta
Group Stage Drawing Restrictions
Finally, it is important to note some of the rules for the group stage drawing. First, teams from the same pot cannot draw one another. Second, clubs hailing from the same league may not be drawn against each other in the Group Stage. Third, due to their continued conflict, Ukrainian and Russian teams cannot draw one another. Other than these three restrictions, clubs will be randomly selected and placed into the competition’s eight groups.
Who might Manchester City draw in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League Group Stage, and how will the Sky Blues fare in this stage of the competition?