The imposing Haliç Congress Center, on the banks of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, opens its doors for a Champions League draw to kick off the European season. TO 18:00 (#Vamos) starts a gala that will allow the best teams of the Continent to know what are your rivals in the group stage of the maximum continental tournament.
On everyone’s lips, of course, will be PSG. For the first time since Messi’s signing was confirmed – and in the midst of a storm over the Mbappé case – the Parisians appear as the great rival to beat in the current edition. Fortunately for Madrid, Barça and Seville, Pochettino’s team will start the draw in pot 2 (just like them), so they will not be able to match it. On the other hand, with Atlético and Villarreal, present in Pot 1 after winning the League and Europa League respectively last season.
After the great success of Villarreal in Europe last year, there will be five LaLiga clubs among the pots. The Spanish repóker is not new. It already occurred previously in the 2015-2016 campaign, as with the English in the following season. As is usual, clubs from the same country and from the same drum will not be able to see each other in the league. The games will start on September 14 and 15 and will conclude on December 7 and 8.
Despite being that of the seeds, Pot 1 is not as powerful as Pot 2. By including the national champions of the leagues with the highest ranking for a few years now, teams that are not as dangerous as others who are true European powers. Thus, in addition to Atlético and Villarreal, there are the Champions of the Champions, Chelsea, and the champions of the main leagues: Manchester City, Bayern, Inter, Lille and Sporting.
Real Madrid and Barcelona appear in Pot 2 for the first time in a long time, in addition to two other giants such as Juventus and PSG. A duel with Chelsea, City or Bayern, of the 1, would have already top clashes from day one.
But the rivals that will mark the toughness of the group will be those of the remaining pots. In 3 there are several trap teams (Leipzig, Porto, Atalanta, Ajax …) and in 4 a historic one like Milan returns. A bad combination can complicate the Champions League from day one. And the goal is clear: the final in St. Petersburg on May 28.