Soccer

Champions League Draw Primer: Pots, Potential Group Pairings

Champions League Draw Primer: Pots, Potential Group Pairings

Bayern Munich’s final triumph over PSG is just over a month old, but the next edition of the Champions League is already set to get going.

Technically, it actually has been for weeks. The qualifying rounds began before the final eight commenced in Portugal last month, with dozens of clubs fighting for six places in the group stage. Olympiakos, Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros secured three of those spots on Tuesday, while Salzburg, Krasnodar and Midtjylland wrapped up the final places on Wednesday.

The bulk of the pots for Thursday’s draw had long been set, with UEFA continuing to follow the formula that puts the defending champion, the defending Europa League champion and the league winners of the top six domestic leagues as ranked by UEFA’s country coefficient. Since Bayern Munich won both the Champions League and Bundesliga, the seventh-highest-ranked nation, Russia, has its champion enter the top pot.

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