The different pots for the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw on 1st October are taking shape, with some teams still fighting for qualification.
26 teams who qualified directly for the group stage will be joined by the winners of six play-off ties for the group-stage draw. All teams will be placed in one of four seeding pots from where a draw of lots, with no two teams from the same association to be picked in the same group, will determine the exact group constituents.
The league winners of the top six leagues, Champions League winner and Europa League winner automatically go into Pot 1. As Bayern Munich were one of the top-six league winners and also the Champions League winner, Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg gained an entry in Pot 1.
Pots 2, 3 and 4 are determined by club coefficient rankings. The winners of the six play-off ties to be concluded on 29/30 September will complete Pots 3 and 4.
Here is how the different pots for the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League draw look like at the moment.
Bayern Munich, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Porto.
Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Ajax.
RB Leipzig, Inter Milan, Lazio, Atalanta.
Borussia Moenchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Stade Rennais.
The pots (3/4) of three qualified teams - Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille and Club Brugge - have not yet been determined.
Pots for UEFA Champions League Group stage draw
The group stage of the Champions League looks to be as competitive as ever, with some very capable teams in Pot 3. RB Leipzig reached the semifinals of last year's tournament where they lost to PSG.
Inter Milan, who reached the Europa League final last season, have seen a resurgence under Antonio Conte and are likely to challenge Juventus for the league title this season.
Lazio and Atalanta were similarly impressive in the Serie A last season; Atalanta reached the Champions League quarterfinals in their debut campaign in the competition in 2019-20.
Bayern Munich will start the season as favourites to retain their Champions League crown despite Thiago Alcantara joining Liverpool.
With the Merseyside giants having started the Premier League season on fire, winning all three games of the new campaign, Klopp will also be hopeful of his team's chances in this season's Champions League.
PSG looked a formidable side in last year's competition after breaking their quarter-final curse and reaching the final. With the duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe staying in Paris, the club will be confident of challenging for the title again this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo will look to add another Champions League crown to his collection after Andrea Pirlo took over as the new Juventus manager. Manchester City will look to reach their first Champions League semifinal after their manager Pep Guardiola was backed again in the transfer market.
The 2020-21 Champions League is expected to start without fans in stadiums due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but some directors of football clubs have expressed their concern regarding COVID-19 protocols in various countries.
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc commented about the difficulties of clubs to play a European competition during the pandemic:
Really, we are still missing the legal requirements to be able to play these games at all. If we play in a high-risk area on Wednesday, which will probably be the case in more than half of the major cities involved, then there needs to be some foundations in place so that we can play in the Bundesliga again on Saturday.Published 29 Sep 2020, 20:23 IST