After winning the national championship, Ajax is certain of qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League. The team from Amsterdam again do not have to play qualifying matches, which means that the club does not have to start preparing for the new season extra early.
The draw for the group stage of the Champions League will take place on Thursday 25 August. Ajax still has a chance to end up in pot 1 during the group stage draw. In that case, the winner of this season’s Champions League will also have to become champions in their own country. In pot 1 there is room for the winners of the Champions League and Europa League and the champions of the top six countries. If a club would win the Champions League and become champion, the champion of country number seven – and that is Ajax in this case – moves on to pot 1.
This season’s Champions League final will be between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Real Madrid recently became champion of Spain and thus it can be said that if The Royal wins the Champions League, that Ajax then ends up in pot 1.
Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League, but the chance of a league title seems small. The deficit on leader Manchester City is three points and, moreover, the goal difference is The Citizens a lot better. If Liverpool win the Champions League, but do not become champions, Ajax will end up in pot 2.
With a coefficient of 82,500 Ajax has collected enough European points to at least end up in pot 2. Decisions regarding the distribution of Champions League tickets have not yet been made in all competitions, so Ajax has to wait and see which pot it will end up in, but it is certain that it will either end up in pot 1 or pot 2.
In the coming weeks, an overview of provisional pot layouts will appear on this site more often, ultimately with an overview of the final pot layout.
Provisional pot classification based on current standings (12-05) competitions:
Champions League winner (Real Madrid/Liverpool)
Europa League winner (Eintracht Frankfurt/Rangers FC)
Manchester City/Liverpool (134,000/134,000)
Real Madrid (122,000)
AC Milan/Inter Milan (38,000/67,000)
Bayern Munich (138,000)
Paris Saint Germain (112,000)
FC Porto (80,000)
FC Barcelona (114,000)
Atletico Madrid (105,000)
Sevilla FC (91,000)
RB Leipzig (83,000)
Champions League group stage already completed at the beginning of November
The group stage of the Champions League has already been completed at the beginning of November next season. This has everything to do with the World Cup in Qatar. The World Cup starts on November 21 and for that reason the group stage of the Champions League must be completed in time.
The first group matches in the Champions League will be played on September 6 and 7. The last group matches will follow on November 1 and 2. The draw for the eighth finals will then take place on 7 November. The first legs in the eighth finals will, as usual, take place in February.
Bart Veenstra (Twitter: @Bart_Veenstra † email: email@example.com)