Liverpool won the 2018/19 Champions League, but in just over three weeks from now it starts all over again as the 2019/20 gets under way with the first round of preliminary games – to be followed by three further rounds of qualifying matches and then the playoff to decide which six teams will be joining the 26 clubs that are already assured of a place in the group stage.
La Liga gets four automatic slots in the group stage, so Barça go straight into the groups, and as champions also benefit from being one of the top eight seeds, together with the defending champions (Liverpool), the Europa League winners (Chelsea) and the winners of Europe’s other five highest ranking leagues (England, Italy, Germany, France and Russia). In other words, Barça cannot be drawn against any of those teams.
The next three pots are ordered by UEFA ranking, so the theoretically stronger sides will go into pot 2, and the theoretically weaker ones into pot 4, but ‘theoretically’ is an important case in point! And remember, Barça cannot be put in the same group as any of the other three Liga sides (Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and Valencia).
With six teams still to be decided, we’ll over two months to wait before we know exactly which teams go into each pot for the draw on August 29, but this is what we know so far..
POT 2 OR 3
POT 3 OR 4