CHELSEA face a potential Champions League Group of Death in Thursday’s draw.
With Manchester City taking the Pot 1 spot for winning the Premier League, Thomas Tuchel's side must settle for a place in Pot 2 alongside fellow English sides Tottenham and Liverpool as well as Barcelona and Juventus.
The Blues won Europe’s top competition in 2021 but fell in heartbreaking fashion to eventual champions Real Madrid last season.
And they could be pitted against the holders in a repeat of their dramatic quarter-final.
As champions of Europe and Spain, Real Madrid are in Pot 1.
The addition of Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco makes them an even stronger side as they look to land a record-extending 15th crown.
READ MORE FOOTBALL STORIES
Cristiano Ronaldo gets Sporting Lisbon OFFER, Dele Alli Besiktas loan AGREED
Get 25 FREE SPINS with NO DEPOSIT required when you join Sun Vegas
Joining City and Real in Pot 1 are Europa League champs Eintracht Frankfurt as well as Uefa's top-ranked team Bayern Munich and fellow league winners AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Ajax- with no Russian teams allowed.
Chelsea cannot face Pep Guardiola’s men as they are from the same country but trips to the San Siro, Allianz Arena or Parc des Princes would also be stern tests.
Speaking of the San Siro, arguably the strongest team in Pot 3 are Inter Milan after being pipped by their stadium rivals to the Serie A title last season.
And unless Chelsea inserted a special clause in the contract, loanee Romelu Lukaku will be allowed to play for the Italian giants against his parent club – just as Philippe Coutinho did in Bayern’s 8-2 win over Barca in 2020.
Most read in Football
Football mourns as ex-England midfielder and Boro legend Armstrong dies aged 67
Man Utd sure they WILL complete Antony transfer this week after he goes AWOL
Barcelona have 10 days to register Kounde or risk losing him for FREE
West Ham’s Declan Rice reveals he's had a baby boy with new tattoo
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
The teams in Pot 3 are virtually all done – with Benfica knowing they will slip in if they win their play-off against Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Napoli and Sporting Lisbon are among the big hitters in Pot 3.
And to complete the Group of Death, Chelsea could have to play Marseille.
They are guaranteed their spot in the Champions League group stages after finishing second in Ligue 1 last term.
The additions of Alexis Sanchez and Nuno Tavares as well as permanent deals for Pau Torres, Matteo Guendouzi and Cengiz Under make Les Phoceens a real threat.
Pot 4 will definitely include Celtic and Club Brugge.
Read More on The Sun
Fury as prisoners getting paid £100s in Universal Credit while IN jail
Eight laws you probably didn’t know about, break one and you risk a £50k fine
The remaining spots will be filled this week through the final play-off round with Rangers, PSV Eindhoven, Copenhagen and Red Star Belgrade hoping to qualify – rather than dropping into the Europa League.
Chelsea will find out their opponents with the draw taking place in Istanbul – where the 2023 final will be played – at 5pm on Thursday.
Source: Read Full Article