The stage is set for a dramatic Champions League draw on Thursday. There are a lot of really good teams throughout the four pots and Jürgen Klopp isn’t likely to find too many “easy” group mates in the bunch. Liverpool are in Pot 1, the top pot. Pot 1 is for winners. But Pot 2 is unfortunately peppered with plenty of Pot 1-tier teams. Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid are all in the second pot.
Klopp is always going to compliment his future opponents in the competition, it isn’t the manager’s style to stand on his throne and goad the other kings into a kerfuffle. But, looking at those first two pots, in particular, there are quite a few potentially amazing match-ups between heavy-hitters.
“We haven’t really thought about the Champions League, but at one point someone told me a little bit about the groups and what could happen and I don’t think there was ever a stronger Pot 2,” Klopp said.
”It is just crazy. They should all be in Pot 1, but there is not enough space there.
“I don’t think there was ever a stronger Pot 3. If people really think about this kind of Super League, then you don’t need it. That’s it. Then Pot 4 you can get RB Leipzig - wow! The groups will be incredible.
”I have no clue who will win the Champions League. We have the same chance like everyone else, but that is all, and no I don’t see us, the English teams, dominating.”
Liverpool will be just as competitive in the Champions League this season as they were in the last one. Klopp’s team can beat anybody out there and they’ve proven that, but the road to the European Cup is littered with costly errors and unluckies.
It was a slow start in the tournament last year that nearly kept Liverpool out of the knock out rounds. With the Champions League increasingly stacked with more world-class teams, that opportunity to go unpunished while playing less-than-stellar football may not come around this season.
Pot 4: Lokomotiv Moskva, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Slavia Praha, Crvena zvezda, Atalanta, LOSC Lille