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LISBON, PORTUGAL - Sunday, August 23, 2020: The European Cup trophy seen before the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. (Credit: ©UEFA)

Liverpool to avoid 6 high-profile opponents as Champions League pot confirmed

Liverpool are confirmed to be in Pot 1 for the new Champions League‘s league phase, which means they will avoid six other high-profile opponents.

Next season’s Champions League will be the first since expanding to a new 36-team competition, which follows the ‘Swiss model’ of a league format replacing the group stage.

That means more fixtures – including eight ‘group’ games against different opponents – before splitting off for a traditional knockout phase.

Liverpool will not learn their opponents for the league phase until the draw on August 29, but they now know who they have joined in Pot 1.

Alongside Liverpool in Pot 1 are:

  • Man City
  • Bayern Munich
  • Real Madrid
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Inter Milan
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • RB Leipzig
  • Barcelona

Despite the new format, clubs are still split into four pots, with each club facing two teams from each pot – one home, one away – in the league phase.

While traditionally, clubs from the same pot would not be drawn against each other, that is not the case in the new format.

However, Liverpool know they will only face two of their fellow Pot 1 teams, meaning they will avoid six high-profile fixtures – at least during the league phase.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2023: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk leads his side out before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Generally, clubs from the same association will not be drawn against each other in the league phase, but exceptions will be made for those with four or more clubs participating to avoid any deadlock in fixtures.

That means Liverpool could face Man City in the league phase, though they know they can only meet two of the aforementioned teams.

As it stands, the Champions League league phase pots are:

Pot 1: Man City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Barcelona
Pot 2: Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid, Atalanta, Juventus, Benfica, Arsenal, Club Brugge
Pot 3: Feyenoord, Sporting CP, PSV Eindhoven
Pot 4: Sturm Graz, Brest

(Pot 2 or 3): Shakhtar Donetsk/Eintracht Frankfurt, AC Milan
(Pot 3 or 4): Celtic, Monaco, Aston Villa, Bologna, Girona, Stuttgart

Seven more clubs will join the league phase via qualifiers, with Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Star Belgrade, Young Boys and Galatasaray the only sides currently confirmed for the playoffs.

MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, March 15, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Real Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is the possibility that Liverpool will face a ‘league phase of death’, then, with prospective clashes with current finalists Real Madrid and Dortmund, Europa League finalists Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta, plus the likes of Feyenoord and Sporting CP.

UEFA have announced that, for one gameweek, Champions League ties will take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with ties held across September 17, 18 and 19.

After that, the competition returns to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with the league phase spanning from mid-September to the end of January.