Liverpool fans will be confident of going one better in the Champions League this season.
The stars just did not align for the Reds in the 2018 final, from Mo Salah’s shoulder injury to Loris Karius’ errors in the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.
However, with the additions of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho, and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer, Jurgen Klopp’s men look well-poised to win a trophy.
All that confidence can be scuppered so easily, though, if the draw places them in a Group of Death.
In a worst-case scenario, had they been placed in Pot Three, they could have been pitted against Barcelona (1), Borussia Dortmund (2), and Inter Milan (4).
The Liverpool Echo point out that now that PAOK Salonika have held Benfica to a 1-1 draw in the Champions League fourth round qualifier – with Amr Warda scoring a crucial away goal for the Greek side – it looks more likely that Liverpool will be elevated to Pot Two.
If Liverpool are second seeds, the pots could look like this:
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE POTENTIAL POTS
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow
Pot 2: Borussia Dortmund, FC Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Liverpool
Pot 3: Dinamo Kiev, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Salzburg, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia
Pot 4: Viktoria Plzen, AEK Athens, Young Boys, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, PAOK, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim
In a dream scenario, Liverpool could play the likes of Lokomotiv Moscow, Schalke, and Young Boys – or perhaps they’d rather do things the hard way and get some revenge against Real.
Judging by what we’ve seen from them so far in the Premier League, they should have little to fear.
On the opening weekend of the season, they hit four past West Ham before a hard-fought 2-0 victory away to Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The return leg of PAOK vs Benfica will take place on Wednesday, August 29, with the Champions League groups being picked out of the hat the following day.