Last year, Tottenham Hotspur had an absolutely magical Champions League run that took them all the way to the final. Now, after finishing fourth in the Premier League this past season, they get another bite at the apple.
Spurs will find out who their Champions League group stage opponents are today at the draw, which takes place in Monaco. And as in the past couple of years, the draw will be widely available for fans to watch as it happens. The draw will NOT be televised in the United States, but will in the United Kingdom, and it will be streamed online.
With luck we’ll be able to embed the live stream into this article, but if that doesn’t work the links are below.
How to Watch the Champions League Draw
Date: Thursday, August 29, 2019
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. BST
How does the draw work?
The 32 teams in the group stages are split into four numbered pots and separated by various criteria — for example, the winners of the Champions League, Europa League, and the winners of the top UEFA leagues are in Pot 1. The remainder of the pots are organized around the teams’ UEFA coefficient. Here are the pots.
2019-20 Champions League Pots
|POT 1||POT 2||POT 3||POT 4|
|POT 1||POT 2||POT 3||POT 4|
|Liverpool (ENG)||Real Madrid (ESP)||Lyon (FRA)||Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS)|
|Chelsea (ENG)||Atlético (ESP)||Leverkusen (GER)||Genk (BEL)|
|Barcelona (ESP)||Dortmund (GER)||Salzburg (AUT)||Galatasaray (TUR)|
|Man. City (ENG)||Napoli (ITA)||Olympiacos (GRE)||RB Leipzig (GER)|
|Juventus (ITA)||Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)||Club Brugge (BEL)||Slavia Prague (CZE)|
|Bayern (GER)||Tottenham (ENG)||Valencia (ESP)||Red Star Belgrade (SRB)|
|PSG (FRA)||Ajax (NED)||Inter Milan (ITA)||Atalanta (ITA)|
|Zenit (RUS)||Benfica (POR)||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||Lille (FRA)|
The teams are then drawn into eight groups, with one team from each pot in each group. Teams from the same league cannot be drawn into the same group, so Tottenham can’t be drawn with Manchester City, Chelsea, or Liverpool, for example.
The teams will play each club in their group home and away, earning three points for a win and one point for a draw. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16, which then becomes a single-elimination home-and-away knock-out tournament.
What’s the easiest possible draw for Spurs? What’s the hardest?
The answer to what draw is the “best” depends on your philosophy of Champions League participation. Some Spurs fans want the easiest possible path to the Round of 16, while others want to face the best teams in the competition, because otherwise why are you there?
So instead, let’s couch this as “easiest” vs. “hardest.” Because Spurs are in Pot 2 they are less likely to be drawn into a Group of Death than in past years, but there’s still some pretty scary scenarios out there. There’s also a narrow path to an easy group.
I’d say there are two different scenarios. Here’s option 1.
- Pot 1: Barcelona
- Pot 3: Inter Milan
- Pot 4: RB Leipzig
And here’s option 2.
- Pot 1: Bayern Munich
- Pot 3: Lyon
- Pot 4: Atalanta
Both scenarios involve a super scary mega club from Pot 1, a formidable and historic European power from pot 3, and one of the two best Pot 4 teams that could surprise everyone. If one of these scenarios happen, remember that it’s the Group of Death in no small part because Tottenham Hotspur are in it.
- Pot 1: Zenit St. Petersburg
- Pot 3: Club Brugge
- Pot 4: LOSC Lille
Zenit is quite clearly the worst team in Pot 1 despite being the champions of Russia. Club Brugge may or may not feature Victor Wanyama in their midfield, but they finished second in the Jupiler League behind Genk in Pot 4. Lille surprisingly finished second in Ligue 1 last season but lost their best player, Nicolas Pepe, to Arsenal in the offseason.