It was thrilling until the very end, but RB Leipzig’s 1-1 draw against Bielefeld on Matchday 34 secured Champions League qualification for the 2022/23 season. It was a great success for our young club, but who could our possible opponents be in next season’s elite competition? There is still some time to go before the draw on 25th August, but many of the possible opponents have already been determined. Here is an overview:
32 teams, 8 groups
Much has been said about the Champions League format reforms in recent months. The changes, however, will not take effect until the 2024/25 season and for the time being, things will remain the same. 32 teams will be divided into eight groups of four and the teams will play each other twice (home and away). The winners and the runners-up will qualify for the knockout stages, whereas the third-placed team will play in the Europa League.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona RB's pot
RB Leipzig will be in “Pot 2” for the draw, along with seven other teams. These are: Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. We cannot play any of these sides in the group stage.
The champions of the major European leagues: Manchester City, Paris St. Germain, AC Milan, FC Porto, Ajax and FC Bayern will be in “Pot 1.” In addition, the winners of the Champions League, Real Madrid, and the winners of the Europa League, Eintracht Frankfurt, will be in this pot. However, it can be said for certain that RB Leipzig will not face Eintracht Frankfurt or FC Bayern in the group stage as you cannot be drawn against a team from the same country at this point in the competition.
Napoli and Sporting CP are possible opponents
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are in “Pot 3,” along with a number of other exciting teams. Possible opponents from this pot include Napoli, Sporting CP, Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Salzburg. One place in this pot is still up for grabs.
There are still, however, question marks regarding “Pot 4”. The majority of the teams in this pot will come from the qualifying rounds. The qualifying phase is made up 52 teams, some of which are the champions of the smaller top flight leagues in Europe such as Olympiacos (Greece), Viktoria Pilsen (Czech Republic), or Malmö (Sweden). The final play off matches will not take place until 23rd and 24th August, just before the Champions League draw on 25th. This means that there is still a long way to go before all 32 teams are known. Only Celtic, Club Brugge and Marseille have been confirmed as “Pot 4” teams.
Information: Listed here are only the teams that have been confirmed in each pot. Eight teams will be in each pot come the draw.
FC Bayern München, Eintracht Frankfurt, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, FC Porto, Manchester City, AC Milan, Ajax
RB Leipzig, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atlético Madrid, FC Sevilla, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool
Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Sporting CP, Inter Milan
Celtic, Club Brugge, Marseille