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Liverpool Land in Pot Three for Champions League Return

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When they return to the Champions League next season, Liverpool now know they will be in the third pot for the group stage drawings.

Harold Cunningham

With the seasons over in the major leagues across Europe, Liverpool now know they will enter the Champions League draw next season in the third pot. Had Russia's Lokomotiv Moscow qualified in place of either Zenit St. Petersburg or CSKA Moscow, there would have been the faintest of chances of Liverpool moving up to pot two. Now, though, that's mathematically impossible.

Pot One will contain Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, and Porto.

Pot Two will have Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Basel, Zenit, and Manchester City.

Liverpool will be in Pot Three along with Bayer Lverkusen, Olympiakos, CKSA Moscow, Ajax, Napoli, Sporting Lisbon, and Galatasaray.

Pot Four has Atheltic Bilbao, Anderlicht, Salzburg, Lille, Copenhagen, Roma, and Monaco.

Some sides, such as Arsenal, Porto, and Zenit in the first two pots, still need to qualify via the playoffs. However, even if all three lost, Liverpool would still be in the third pot. When the teams are drawn for the group stages following the qualification playoffs, clubs will be country protected such that they cannot be placed with a side from their own association.

For Liverpool fans hoping for a relatively easy path to the group stages, that means crossing their fingers for Porto from the first pot and to at the very least avoid Dortmund and PSG in the second. Some, though, will be hoping for a headlining return to European nights at Anfield with a draw against a big name or two—and there are certainly a few of those on offer.

Let us know who you'd like to see Liverpool facing off against in the Champions League group stages in the comments.