Champions League draw: What are the best and worst case scenarios for Liverpool?

And who will Brendan Rodgers be hoping to see come out of the hat?

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The Independent Football

The draw for the group stage of the Champions League takes place on Thursday with Liverpool making their first appearance in the competition since the 2009/10 season.

Owing to their absence from the competition they won in 2005, the Reds have seen their Uefa coefficient diminish, meaning they are among the group of teams in Pot 3 which comprises the third seeds.

LIVE: Champions League draw

That has left Liverpool facing a potentially tricky group when the draw is made in Monaco.

Liverpool cannot face a side from the same country - which rules out meetings with Arsenal (if they qualify), Chelsea and Manchester City. But that still leaves plenty of sides to avoid.

They are guaranteed to face one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Atletico Madrid or Porto from Pot 1.

The options in Pot 2 are Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk, Basel or Zenit St Petersburg.

With games left to play tonight, those in Pot 4 already include Anderlecht, Roma, APOEL, BATE Borisov, Maribor and Monaco.

Gareth Bale lifts the Champions League trophy aloft


Reigning champions Real Madrid are the team to avoid from Pot 1, although most of the sides among the top seeds will be tough. The other two Spanish sides, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, are particularly strong. Meanwhile Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich start the competition as one of the favourites.

The best sides in Pot 2 are 2012 finalists and German giants Borussia Dortmund, Italian champion Juventus and mega-rich French champions PSG.

Even Pot 4 comprises some incredible teams. Monaco might have lost James Rodriguez but the big-spending side retain some incredible talents - not least Radamel Falcao. Ashley Cole's Roma side are also among the fourth seeds.


Best case scenario for Liverpool

Benfica, Basel, Liverpool, Maribor

Worst case scenario for Liverpool

Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool, Roma


You will be able to follow all the latest news with our live blog of the draw tomorrow.

The prize the teams are chasing



Pot 1: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Porto

Pot 2: Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk, Basel, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Manchester City

Pot 3: Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow, Ajax, Liverpool, Sporting CP, Galatasaray, Athletic Bilbao

Pot 4: Anderlecht, Roma, APOEL, BATE Borisov, Ludogorets Razgrad, Maribor, Monaco, Malmo FF