The Champions League is almost upon us and the draw for this year’s competition takes place on Thursday evening. As usual, we’ll be bringing you live coverage of the draw from 4.30 on Thursday.
The blues are looking to win the competition for the first time, after losing two Chelsea two seasons ago and missing out on a place in the final last time around, narrowly losing to eventual champions Real Madrid on aggregate.
As English champions, City are in pot 1, and therefore cannot be drawn with other champions, such as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Ajax and Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
However, pot 2 could throw up some interesting ties. City can’t be drawn against Liverpool, Chelsea or Spurs as they are from the same country, so could only face one of five teams. Barcelona, who have signed Bernardo Silva a million times over the summer, Sevilla and a tasty clash with Atletico Madrid could be on the cards, while Juventus are also in the mix. Finally, RB Leipzig could be making a return visit to Manchester between now and November.
Pot 3 has the potential to pit Erling Haaland against one of his former clubs in the form of Borussia Dortmund of Salzburg. Inter Milan and Napoli are a double Italian threat, while Sporting and Benfica could be double trouble from Portugal. Bayer Leverkusen make up the fourth German side in the Champions League, while old favourites Shakhtar Donetsk could face the blues again after an absence of three years.
City could face Celtic from pot 4 or have another battle with Club Brugge or make a trip to Israel to face Maccabi Haifa, Viktoria Plzen, who the blues faced in their third foray into the competition and Marseille, who City faced in 2020, are also a possibility. Three ties are yet to be decided and it may also be possible that City will face the winners of PSV Eindhoven v Rangers, Dinamo Zagreb v Bodo/Glimt or Trabzonspor v FC Copenhagen.
Whoever City face in the competition, we’ll no doubt be told how we won’t get out of the group (only to finish as group winners), and we’ll be defeated at every knockout stage (only to make the final) where we, as usual, don’t stand a chance of winning the competition because of ‘istory!
Who would feature in your dream CL group? And what would be a nightmare? Who do we need to avoid? Let us know your thoughts.