Tottenham face horror Champions League draw on return to Europe's elite competition after two years | The Sun
TOTTENHAM face a brutal return to the Champions League when the group-stage draw is made tomorrow.
After a year in the Europa League and one in the Conference League, Antonio Conte's side finished fourth last season and secured a place in Pot 2 alongside fellow English sides Chelsea and Liverpool as well as Barcelona and Juventus.
Conte nor Spurs have ever won Europe’s top competition – although the North Londoners did reach the final in 2019 and made the quarters in their first appearance in 2010-11but were thumped 5-0 by Real Madrid.
And they could be pitted against the holders in another Group of Death – just as they were in 2017-18.
As champions of Europe and Spain, Real Madrid are in Pot 1.
The addition of Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco makes them an even stronger side as they look to land a record-extending 15th crown.
Joining Real in Pot 1 are Europa League champs Eintracht Frankfurt as well as Uefa's top-ranked team Bayern Munich and fellow league winners Manchester City, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Ajax- with no Russian teams allowed.
Tottenham cannot face Pep Guardiola’s men as they are from the same country but trips to the San Siro, Allianz Arena or Parc des Princes would also be stern tests.
Speaking of the San Siro, arguably the strongest team in Pot 3 are Inter Milan after being pipped by their stadium rivals to the league title last season.
Conte's former side, three-time winners of the competition, have signed Romelu Lukaku, Andre Onana, Robin Gosens, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Joaquin Correa this summer.
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The teams in Pot 3 are now all confirmed – with Benfica sealing their spot by seeing off Dynamo Kyiv in their play-off on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Napoli and Sporting Lisbon are among the remaining big hitters in Pot 3 with the Germans having the highest Uefa coefficient.
And to complete the Group of Death, Tottenham could have to play Marseille.
The 1993 winners are guaranteed their spot in the Champions League group stages after finishing second in Ligue 1 last term – together with Real and Inter, Spurs' opponents would have 28 successes between them.
The additions of Alexis Sanchez and Nuno Tavares as well as permanent deals for Pau Torres, Matteo Guendouzi and Cengiz Under make Les Phoceens a real threat.
Benfica's qualification meant Marseille were demoted to Pot 4 to join Celtic, Club Brugge, Viktoria Plzen and Maccabi Haifa.
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The remaining three spots will be filled tonight through the final play-off round between Rangers and PSV Eindhoven, Copenhagen and Trabzonspor and Dinamo Zagreb and Bodo/Glimt with the losers dropping into the Europa League.
Spurs will find out their opponents with the draw taking place in Istanbul – where the 2023 final will be played – at 5pm on Thursday.
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