Newcastle could be handed Champions League 'group of death' next season
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Newcastle United sealed a return to the Champions League after two decades with a 0-0 draw against Leicester in their penultimate game of the season.
Eddie Howe has worked wonders at St James' Park to get Newcastle into the top four way ahead of schedule, now guaranteed a finish in the Champions League spots just 18 months after the Saudi Public Investment Fund purchased the club.
It means the Magpies will play in the group stages of Europe's elite competition for the first time since the 2002/03 season when they were managed by the legendary Sir Bobby Robson.
But they may not get things their own way when they finally get their teeth into UEFA's premier competition.
Next season's pots for the group stages have already been leaked. And with those being based on club coefficients in the last five years – or 20 per cent of the club's association coefficient – it means Newcastle will definitely be in Pot 4.
With the champions of each major domestic league to be placed in Pot 1, that means Newcastle will be guaranteed to come up against one of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Feyenoord and Benfica (as things stand) and the winners of the Europa League – either Roma or Sevilla.
They'll also come up against a pot 2 side, with that pot currently boasting Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Inter, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Porto.
Take this with a bag of salt but the predicted champs league pots next season at this stage— Black & White Vision (@white_vision) May 3, 2023
Imagine this group of death
Some cracking away draws lol
Obviously this is all fabricated lol pic.twitter.com/whakQLy5YY
The good news is that Newcastle cannot be drawn in the same group as fellow English clubs Manchester City, Arsenal or Manchester United (or Liverpool, if they pip United to fourth place).
But with plenty of strong teams to be drawn in Pot 3 as well, a possible 'group of death' for Newcastle could be against PSG or Barcelona from Pot 1, Bayern or Real from Pot 2 and this year's Champions League semi-finalists AC Milan from Pot 3.
Clubs will find out their group-stage opponents for the 2023/24 competition on August 31 after the final qualifying play-offs are held on August 29-30.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy
Topics: Champions League, Newcastle United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan