Liverpool and Manchester United discover their Champions League group stage fate when the draw is made this Thursday.
As always there are a number of world-class clubs in the mix, and these will be the teams both sides want to avoid in the early stages.
And as is also the case, there are a few teams making up the numbers – the ones you want to face early doors and, hopefully, get off to a good start.
Here we have had a look at the four pots to determine the best and worst case scenarios for both Manchester United and Liverpool ahead of the draw.
Pot One: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Zenit Saint Petersburg
Pot Two: Atletico Madrid, Ajax, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea,Manchester City, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk
Pot Three: Atalanta, Dynamo Kiev, Inter Milan, Lazio, Olympiakos, RB Leipzig, Krasnodar, Red Bull Salzburg
Pot Four: Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille, Club Brugge, Borussia Monchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Ferencvaros, Rennes, Midtjylland
It has been a hectic and unique transfer window so far – so make sure you don't miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
You'll been clued up on Jadon Sancho, Declan Rice and more as clubs buy their way through the summer. All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won't miss out.
To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
Liverpool best case: Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympiakos, Ferencvaros
Liverpool worst case: Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Rennes
Jurgen Klopp's Reds are in a better position than United in that they avoid the best of the bunch in Pot One, but are still faced with the prospect of a hard group.
In an ideal world, Liverpool's hardest opponents will be Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk in a group comprising Olympiakos and Ferencvaros.
Olympiakos are undoubtedly one of the weakest teams in Pot Three, and Liverpool scouts will be able to look back on their Europa League Round of 32 clash with Arsenal earlier this year for the lowdown on them.
Meanwhile, Ferencvaros have little to no Champions League experience, given there last appearance in the competition's group stages was in 1995.
Thing will be difficult for Liverpool if they draw Atletico Madrid in the group stage, given Diego Simeone proved last season he knows how to get the better of Klopp.
Matches against Inter Milan and Rennes would also be grueling.
Man United best case: Zenit St Petersburg, Olympiakos, Ferencvaros
Man United worst case: Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Rennes
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United cannot avoid a Pot One side, but would be delighted to be drawn in a group with Zenit St Petersburg, given the quality available.
Like with Liverpool, matches against Olympiakos and Ferencvaros would also be favourable.
As a side note, Krasnodar are equally as weak as Olympiakos in Pot Three, but they cannot be drawn alongside another 'Russian' team, so they can't play either Shakhtar Donetsk (Liverpool scenario) nor Zenit St Petersburg (Man United scenario) in the group stages.
Should United be drawn in a group with Bayern Munich then things could get very difficult.
The German giants swatted teams aside en route to Champions League glory last season, and have showed no signs of slowing down so far this campaign.
Inter Milan also boast a great team, and are an outfit United would rather avoid.
Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young all represent the Serie A giants, who reached the Europa League final last season – and they'll all have a point to prove against their former team.
And finally Rennes are a team on a mission at the moment, sitting pretty at the top of Ligue 1, four points above champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Julien Stephan's side boast some real quality, with wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga catching the eye every time he steps onto the field.
Will Liverpool win the Champions League this season? Have your say here.
* Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.
Source: Read Full Article