UEFA’s new seeding system means Jose Mourinho faces the possibility of his Chelsea side being in the same group as his old team Real Madrid when the draw for the Champions League takes place in Monaco on Thursday.
The new system will see the pot of top seeds made up of the champions Barcelona and seven other domestic champions from the leading European leagues – including Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid will be in pot two along with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United. As English clubs cannot be drawn in the same group, it means there is more of a chance of Chelsea being drawn against Real.
UEFA’s shake-up of its seeding system should refresh the competition as it sees five teams who would have been top seeds under previous rules now among the pot of second seeds.
It means too that the English clubs in pot two will themselves have a greater chance of facing one of the European powerhouses in the group stages than in previous years – Arsenal or the Manchester sides could find themselves up against Barca or Bayern.