LIVERPOOL face a potential Group of Death in Thursday’s Champions League draw.
With Manchester City taking the Pot 1 spot for winning the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp’s side must settle for a place in Pot 2 alongside fellow English sides Chelsea and Tottenham as well as Barcelona and Juventus.
The Reds won Europe’s top competition for the sixth time in 2019 but fell just short of a seventh crown to Real Madrid in May’s final.
And they could be pitted against the holders in a repeat of their Paris showdown.
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.
Joining City and Real in Pot 1 are Europa League champs Eintracht Frankfurt as well as Uefa’s No1-ranked club Bayern Munich and fellow league winners AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Ajax – with no Russian teams allowed.
Liverpool 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, Inter Milan are arguably the strongest team in Pot 3.
The Nerazzurri missed out on the Serie A title to rivals AC last season but have snapped up Romelu Lukaku, Andre Onana, Robin Gosens, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Joaquin Correa this summer.
The teams in Pot 3 are almost all confirmed – with Benfica knowing they will sneak in if they see off Dynamo Kyiv in their play-off on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Napoli and Sporting Lisbon are among the remaining big hitters in Pot 3.
And to complete the Group of Death, Liverpool might have to play French giants Marseille.
They are guaranteed their spot in the Champions League group stages after finishing second in Ligue 1 last term.
Alexis Sanchez and Nuno Tavares have come in while the club have secured permanent deals for Pau Torres, Matteo Guendouzi and Cengiz Under to make Les Phoceens a real threat.
Pot 4 will definitely include Celtic and Club Brugge.
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.
Liverpool will find out their opponents with the draw taking place in Istanbul – where the 2023 final will be played – at 5pm on Thursday.