Champions League round-up: Benfica, PSV and Red Star Belgrade reach group stages


Benfica's victory means they take a spot in pot two ahead of last season's runners-up Liverpool.

With Benfica securing an impressive 5-2 aggregate win over PAOK, they joined the likes of Borussia Dortmund and AS Roma in pot two at the expense of the Reds.

Liverpoo will find out their fate for the Champions League group stages today.

Teams from the same nation can not face each other in the group stage, meaning Borussia Dortmund will avoid Bayern Munich, Schalke and Hoffenheim. Manchester City are in pot one. One team from each pot will be placed in each group.

Pot three actually has plenty of decent clubs and the weakest sides are probably those qualifying from the Eredivisie, and it's only fair to pick Ajax after their second place finish.

As the clock strikes 18:00 CET, the balls will be drawn out and the 32 teams participating in the competition will learn what fate has in store for them in the first step towards the Madrid showpiece.

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The bottom pot can usually be relied upon to provide intrigue and this year is no different with the return of Inter to the Champions League.

So let us take a look at the dream draw and the worst case scenario for the Black and Yellows. Galatasaray is the cliched "tough place to go" in the Champions League, while Swiss Super League side Young Boys make their debut in the competition.

Real Madrid beat Sterling's former club Liverpool in the Champions League Final in 17/18 to claim their third consecutive European Trophy.

Where is the Champions League final?

Liverpool - and everyone else outside of the top two pots - will likely have their fingers crossed to be paired with Lokomotiv, who are pot one's weakest side on paper by a distance.

The draw for the pool phase begins at 6pm Irish time at the Grimaldi Forum (live on RTÉ News Now and RTÉ Player), with the ceremony also seeing the winners of the UEFA Player Awards being announced.