Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in this year’s final in Porto, thanks to a first-half goal from Kai Havertz, securing their place alongside the champions of Europe’s top six leagues in Pot 1 for the draw on Aug. 26. Villarreal will also be seeded as Europa League titleholders, after beating Manchester United 11-10 on penalties on Wednesday.
Pots 2-4 are built based on UEFA’s five-year coefficient score, and there is a real prospect of a very strong group with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund only able to take a place in Pot 3.
However, as UEFA has opened proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid for their role in the failed Super League project, a potential Champions League ban could yet lead to a reshaping of Pot 2 with FC Porto and Ajax best-placed to benefit.
*Must come through the qualifying rounds
The teams will be drawn into eight groups of four teams on Aug. 26, with no teams from the same association able to be drawn against each other. The top two teams in each group will advance to the round of 16, with the third-placed teams going through to the Europa League knockout phase to play group runners-up.