Liverpool are set to face a nightmare draw in the Champions League group stage. Last year's beaten finalists have been placed in pot three for Thursday's draw, due to their standing in the UEFA coefficient rankings. Jurgen Klopp's men would have been given a more favourable place in pot two of the draw if both Benfica and FC Basel were eliminated in the qualification process. Basel failed to progress, but Benfica made the all-elusive group stage with a thumping victory away at PAOK of Greece on Wednesday night. As a result, Liverpool were confined to pot three. Liverpool were always going to come up against one of Europe's elite, given the fact that all of the champions of the top leagues are placed in pot one, alongside the winners of last year's Champions League and Europa League. As a worst case scenario, Liverpool could now find themselves in a group against Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. Or it could perhaps be Real Madrid, Napoli and Galatasaray. However, there … [Read more...] about Liverpool face nightmare Champions League group stage draw
Champion league group stage
Premier League sides will learn their Champions League fate on Thursday as the group stage draw takes place. Both Manchester clubs, Tottenham and Liverpool will all be in the hat and eyeing a spot in the final in Madrid in May. Liverpool will be hoping to go one better than they did last season after losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in the final in Kiev, reports the Liverpool Echo . At present, Liverpool are the highest-placed team in Pot 3, which includes the teams ranked between 17 and 24 in the competition according to the latest UEFA coefficients. That, though, could change if Benfica fail to win their final qualifying round tie against PAOK of Greece. Should the Portuguese lose, Liverpool will be bumped up to Pot 2, and avoid the possibility of being drawn alongside one of Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Roma and Benfica themselves. For many Reds fans, such a switch is immaterial. Liverpool were in Pot 3 for last season's draw, and won their group before progressing … [Read more...] about Why Liverpool would love to draw Real Madrid in Champions League group stages
Manchester United will discover their Champions League group stage opponents on Thursday as they prepare for a potentially tricky draw. Former United defender Daley Blind secured qualification with Ajax on Tuesday night while AEK Athens and Young Boys also secured spots in the group stage. The second legs of the three remaining three qualifiers - PAOK versus Benfica, PSV Eindhoven versus Bate Borisov and Red Bull Salzburg vs Red Star Belgrade - are held tonight. Although Uefa are still to confirm Valencia, Liverpool and Viktoria Plzen's seedings, United are guaranteed to be in pot two with Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham and Roma. The top seeds consist of the champions in the six highest-ranked leagues, as well as Champions League holders Real Madrid and Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. Despite finishing outside the top two in four of the last five Premier League seasons, United's coefficient ranking still places them above Liverpool and … [Read more...] about Manchester United Champions League group stage seeding confirmed
Manchester United and Man City are set to learn their opposition for the new Champions League campaign. United have won the top European club competition on three separate occasions, while rivals City are still going in search of their first win in the competition. Neither side can face a fellow English team in the group stages of the competition, however either side could potentially face a past winner at this stage of the tournament. Jose Mourinho's United will be looking to make amends after their shock exit to Sevilla last season, while City are still ruing their missed opportunity vs Liverpool in the quarter-finals. But when is the Champions League group stage draw, and where can you watch it? When is the Champions League group stage draw? The 2018/19 Champions League group stage draw begins at 5pm UK time on Thursday 30 August. The draw will take place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Where can I watch the Champions League group stage draw? The group stage draw will be … [Read more...] about When is the Champions League group stage draw?
Dutch giants Ajax edged closer to a return to the Champions League group stages for the first time in four years with a 3-1 win over Dinamo Kiev in the first leg of their play-off on Wednesday. Ajax, four-time European champions, scored all their goals in the opening period and were denied by the woodwork on two occasions in the second half. Donny van der Beek gave Ajax a flying start after just 80 seconds. Dusan Tadic laid the ball into his path inside the area before van der Beek's low drive squirmed beneath the body of goalkeeper Denys Boyko. Tomasz Kedziora pulled Kiev level after 16 minutes. From a corner, Ajax's Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana made a fine save to deny a powerful header from Hungarian centre-back Tamas Kadar but Tomasz Kedziora swept in the rebound from inside the six-yard box. The Dutch were back in front after 35 minutes when a speculative drive from Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech was deflected into his own goal by Kadar. Tadic, signed from Southampton in the … [Read more...] about Ajax take huge step to Champions League group stage