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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Barcelona sneak into Pot 1 for the 2024/25 Champions League draw

By Vaseline May26,2024

Barcelona will be in Pot 1 for the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League group stage draw after it was confirmed AS Roma would not play in the competition.

Atalanta needed to finish fifth in Serie A to pass a Champions League place to sixth-place Roma, but Atalanta’s 3-0 win at home to Torino on Sunday secured a place in the top four. Roma will secure a place in the Europa League.

Had Atalanta finished fifth, they would have qualified for the Champions League as Europa League title holders, with Italy’s extra spot, earned by their clubs’ performances in Europe this season, going to sixth place. Instead, that extra place goes to the team that finished fifth: Bologna.

Barcelona would also have been overtaken for a place in Pot 1 by Bayer Leverkusen had the Bundesliga side avoided defeat in the Europa League final, but they lost 3-0 to Atalanta.

Since Atalanta will not use the defending champions’ spot, Benfica will be promoted directly to the empty spot in the group stage as the club with the best coefficient among those in qualifying. If Real Madrid wins the Champions League, Shakhtar Donetsk will not have to qualify either.

Under the new format starting next season, only the Champions League holders will be guaranteed a place in Pot 1, while all other places will be ranked by coefficient. However, as each team is drawn against two clubs from the four pots to create eight matches, the seeding of the pots now has limited relevance: the teams in Pot 1 are not stopped from playing each other.

– New Champions League format explained

The Champions League will be expanded from 32 to 36 teams, all of which will be placed in one ranking. Eight matches will be played, four at home and four away. Teams from the same country must be kept apart, although leagues with more than four teams may have to play each other from the same association if there is a deadlock in the draw.

Because this new system offers so many alternatives, most of the draw will be done by computer. A team is drawn from Pot 1 in the traditional manner and the process of selecting that club’s opponents is carried out automatically.

The top eight advance directly to the round of 16, positions eight through 24 play in a two-legged knockout playoff round, and those seeded 25th through 36th are eliminated. There is no longer a dropdown in the Europa League.

The draw for the group stage will take place on Thursday, August 29.

POT 1

Manchester city
Bayern Munich
Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain
Liverpool
Internazionale
Borussia Dortmund
RB Leipzig
Barcelona

POT 2

Bayer Leverkusen
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
Atalanta
Benfica
Arsenal
Club Brugge (*subject to securing the Belgian title on Sunday)
Rangers (must get through qualifying)
Shakhtar Donetsk (must pass qualifying)

Pot 4 is the likely destination for Celtic, AS Monaco, Aston Villa, Bologna, Girona and Brest.

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