Despite UEFA’s system for assigning the domestic champions of Europe’s highest-rated leagues leagues to Pot 1 of the Champions League draw, three English clubs will represent the Premier League when the 2019-20 group stage draw is held in Monaco, France, on Thursday (12 p.m. ET).
Manchester City, as the reigning PL champions, along with Liverpool, as the defending Champions League champions, and Chelsea, as the reigning Europa League champions, have been assigned to Pot 1. Tottenham Hotspur, the PL’s fourth and final representative, will come out of Pot 2 and cannot be drawn into any group already containing a PL side.
Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Zenit St. Petersburg — all as reigning champions of their respective leagues — fill out the rest of Pot 1.
Four sides for whom a strong case could be made to make a deep run join Tottenham in Pot 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.
Inter Milan will be the side to come out of Pot 3 and create the always-feared “group of death.” RB Leipzig as the “fourth-best” side in any group is a fate everyone will hope to avoid.
Worst-case scenarios for PL clubs: Man City, Liverpool or Chelsea get drawn into a group with one of Real or Atleti, and Inter, plus Leipzig; Spurs get drawn into a group with Barcelona and Inter (again, as they were last season), plus Leipzig.