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Uefa Champions League

Who can each Premier League club face in the Champions League draw?

Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United eye revival in Europe’s top club competition ahead of group-stage draw in Monaco

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 12:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 4:14pm

The English Premier League aims to revive a fading record in the Champions League with five teams in the group-stage draw for the first time.

Liverpool’s advance through the play-offs on Wednesday means they joins top-seeded Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, plus Tottenham Hotspur in the 32-team draw in Monaco on Friday morning (Hong Kong time).

United enter as Europa League winners after finishing only sixth in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League title is the only English triumph in the past nine seasons and an era of all-Premier League semi-finals has passed.

Now, Liverpool and Tottenham risk landing in a blockbuster four-team group as both will be drawn from the pot of third-seeded teams.

A powerful pot of second-seeded teams – who did not win their domestic league – features five of the eight teams highest-ranked by Uefa. They include Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Real Madrid head the top-seeded clubs as the two-time defending champions, and are joined by Juventus, Bayern Munich and other winners of Europe’s eight highest-ranked national leagues.

That top pot also includes Spartak Moscow, ranked 104the by Uefa, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Monaco, who sold several stars after reaching the semi-finals last season.

One year ago, Monaco were a dangerous outlier in pot four because they had few Uefa ranking points from the five previous seasons in the Champions League and Europa League.

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RB Leipzig could now fill that role in their European debut after being the surprise Bundesliga runners-up.

Created in 2009, Leipzig did not exist when Feyenoord, the 1970 European Cup winners, last played in the group stage 15 years ago.

Leipzig and Qarabag, the 106th-ranked champions of Azerbaijan, are the only group-stage newcomers.

Germany have just three teams in the draw after Hoffenheim were eliminated by Liverpool. That won’t happen again after new rules come into force.

From next season, the big four leagues – Spain, Germany, England and Italy – each get four direct entries to the groups and skip the play-offs. No two teams from the same country can be drawn in the same group.

Prize money is also set to rise in 2018 when more valuable renewals of three-year broadcasting deals kick in.

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For now, each team in the draw will again get just a basic fee of 12.7 million (HK$117.29 million) from Uefa.

More is earned from results bonuses and advancing through knockout rounds. The 32 teams share a total prize fund of more than 1.3 billion.

The group stage kicks off on September 13, and the final is played on May 26 in Kiev, at the Olympic Stadium which hosted the 2012 European Championship final.

Seedings

Pot One

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk.

Pot Two

Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Sevilla, Porto, Manchester United.

Pot Three

Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Basel, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Liverpool, Roma, Besiktas.

Pot Four

Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Sporting Lisbon, APOEL, Feyenoord, Maribor, Qarabag, RB Leipzig.