Manchester United’s Europa League victory did more than just earn them a spot in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
The 2-0 triumph over Ajax in Stockholm boosted United’s European coefficient high enough to place them in pot two, which helps them avoid being drawn in the same group with the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain next season.
Ahead of the Thursday’s Group Stage draw, we take a look at the draw pots heading into the 2017/18 Champions League campaign.
Seeded: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco, Spartak Moscow
Otherwise known as the pot containing the champions of the highest ranked leagues in Europe, these teams are given the best chance possible of being placed in a favourable group.
Pot two: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Manchester City, Porto, Manchester United
Sevilla confirmed their pot two status by successfully progressing through their playoff round opponents Istanbul Basaksehir, albeit in a closely contested 4-3 aggregate victory.
Pot three: Napoli, Tottenham, FC Basel, Roma, Besiktas, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Liverpool.
Napoli, Olympiakos and Liverpool confirmed their Champions League status with wins in the playoff round. Olympiakos knocked off Rijeka, while Napoli and Liverpool were given sterner tests, having to go through OGC Nice and Hoffenheim, respectively.
Pot four: Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Sporting CP, APOEL, Feyenoord, Maribor, Qarabag, RB Leipzig
The quality of teams named throughout those three pots already gets us wondering how the group stage could set up, with Tottenham, Napoli and Liverpool facing potential ‘group of death’ scenarios.
In fact, any of those three outfits could be placed in a group containing Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain, or even Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The 2017/18 UEFA Champions League draw takes place on August 24, 18:00 CEST at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.