What would the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage look like if Europe’s major domestic leagues ended now? This is how things are shaping up.*
ESP: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid
GER: Bayern München, RB Leipzig, Dortmund
ENG: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool
ITA: Juventus, Roma
POR: Benfica, Porto
FRA: Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain
RUS: Spartak Moskva
UKR: Shakhtar Donetsk
BOLD=will definitely qualify
While ten group stage berths will be decided via qualifying in the summer – and the winners of this season’s competition and the UEFA Europa League will also have an impact – these 21 teams would, as it stands, be assured of a UEFA Champions League place next term.
Bayern were the first team to absolutely guarantee a group berth when they earned a 4-1 win against Dortmund on April 8 and Basel joined them on Friday night when a 2-1 victory at Luzern secured the Swiss title for an eighth consecutive season. Barcelona and Real Madrid followed suit on Saturday with victories against Espanyol and Valencia respectively.
*All based on provisional standings as of 29 April 2017 with the access list decided by the UEFA association club coefficient rankings as of the end of 2015/16. Line-up for next season’s UEFA Champions League will be subject to final confirmation by UEFA in the summer.
A new system of qualification for the club competition will begin for the 2018/19 season with the top four nations (Spain, Germany, England and Italy) each receiving four automatic UEFA Champions League group places.