After winning the Champions League, Liverpool headed into today’s draw as one of eight pot one sides along with the winners of the Europa League and the champions of Europe’s top six leagues—England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and Russia.
As one of the pot one clubs, Liverpool found out early that they would be the first club in Group E, at which point they knew they would not be able to draw pot two Tottenham—and that their group could have no more than one club from any other league in it.
In the second phase of the draw, it came down to the final two balls with Atletico Madrid and Napoli left—and Liverpool got Napoli. It’s an easier draw on paper than Atleti would have been. It’s also a repeat of last season’s group draw, for better or worse.
In the third phase, Liverpool pulled RB Salzburg. Then, in the fourth phase, they drew Genk from Belgium. On paper it’s not the easiest draw, but it’s also far from the most difficult, and Liverpool will be fully expected not just to advance from it but to advance in first.
Meanwhile, domestic rivals Manchester City got arguably the easiest draw of the English clubs with Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta. Europa winners Chelsea are in a group with Ajax, Valencia, and Lille. Tottenham got Bayern, Olympiacos, and Red Star.