This week’s Champions League returns with the holders Chelsea set for discovery of their rivals in the group stages. Just 89 days following the Blues’ victory over Manchester City, the draw will be held in Istanbul.
Chelsea had a nearly perfect start under Thomas Tuchel. He finished inside the top four of the Premier League and won the Champions League after his January arrival.
Kai Havertz’s May goal against Man City, 1-0 has been etched in blues history. The Blues hope to defend their title in 221/22.
Chelsea is currently the fourth favorite for this competition behind the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain and Pep Guardiola’s Man City, as well as German giants Bayern Munich.
This is speculation. However, one thing is certain. Tuchel’s team will not be able to make it to the St Petersburg final next year.
While we won’t be able to tell who Chelsea will face during the group stage until Thursday’s draw in Turkey at 5pm, we know who they can and cannot face.
Chelsea supporters will hope that Uefa’s guests Branislav IIvanovic and Michael Essien prove to be luck charms.
Chelsea, who won the trophy last season, will join the other winners of six European leagues – Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich (Bundesliga), Man City and Premier Leagues), Inter Milan and Serie A respectively and Sporting Lisbon and Villarreal.
Because of the change in Europe’s traditional dominance in Europe’s top leagues, there are many big names in Pot 2 and Chelsea will be facing one.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are among the teams in Pot 2.
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It is against the rules that two teams can face each other in group stage, so a meeting with United and Liverpool are out of the question.
However, Chelsea will still face Real Madrid or Barcelona in the group stage.
Chelsea will face the rest of Pots 3, and 4.
While not all sides have been confirmed, the third legs of three qualifying matches will take place Wednesday night, the majority of potential Blues opponents are already known.
Pot 3 is currently home to Ajax FC Porto and RB Leipzig.
Pot 4 includes Club Brugge and Young Boys as well as AC Milan, Malmo, Wolfsburg, and AC Milan Young Boys.
There are still options for both pots: Besiktas and Dynamo Kyiv; RB Salzburg or Brondby; Monaco or Shakhtar Donnetsk; Dinamo Zagreb, Sheriff Tiraspol.
This means that Chelsea might draw Real Madrid – winner of four out of eight previous competitions – as well 2017 Europa League finalists Ajax or Serie A heavyweights AC Milan.
Similar to the above, it would be difficult for a team that included PSG, who include Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mobappe, as well as European champions Porto, and Club Brugge, which includes Belgian champions Club Brugge.
These are all possibilities. On Thursday, Chelsea will discover their fate.
Publiated at Wed 25 August 2021, 08:51:14 +0000