The Champions League is coming back to Stamford Bridge!
We might not know who the coach will be; we won’t know what the team will look like; will football still be called football? Who knows! But we do know that the Champions League is back at the only London address where Champions of Europe can be found.
Despite missing out on the competition in two of the last three seasons, and on Europe altogether three years ago, Chelsea have been confirmed for Pot 1 for the group stage draw thanks to our Europa League triumph (HA-HA, Arsenal!), alongside the Champions League winners as the winners of the top six associations in Europe (based on UEFA coefficient).
That’s mostly a great thing, as we avoid the likes of Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus in the group stage. Unfortunately, there are a couple very tough scenarios possible as well.
POT 1: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St Petersburg
POT 2 (provisional): Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, FC Porto*, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax*
POT 3 (provisional): Benfica, Dynamo Kiev*, Olympique Lyonnais, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Salzburg, Valencia, Inter Milan, Celtic*
POT 4 (provisional): FC Copenhagen*, Dinamo Zagreb*, Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Lille
*teams must go through qualifying stages and as such, their position is not guaranteed yet
There is, of course, the possibility (ed.note: certainty) of a ROYAL RUMBLE as we could get a group consisting of Eden Hazard and That Other Guy We Don’t Like’s Real Madrid (Pot 2) and Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan (Pot 3). Just add RB Leipzig from Pot 4 and we can already see the children crying in the stands as we’re consigned to back-to-back Europa League titles.
We could also get Borussia Dortmund in the group and create, “Captain Pulisic: Civil War”, or get to visit Napoli and unite in anti-Sarri songs.
Fun is truly back on the menu!