Why Arsenal being in Champions League draw Pot 2 is a blessing in disguise for the Gunners

Arsenal have missed out on a spot in Pot One for the revamped Champions League — but that is not the end of the world for the Gunners.

In previous years, not being a top seed in the Champions League would have been a blow given the competition’s format.

But the new format sees 36 teams in next season's group stage, all competing in one league rather than the previous system of four-team groups.

Clubs will play eight matches, all against different teams, four at home and four away. The top eight teams will go through to the last 16, while those finishing between ninth and 24th will face a play-off to join them.

Arsenal will be in Pot 2 (AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal will be in Pot 2 (AFP via Getty Images)

The final pots, based on UEFA coefficient rankings, will not be finalised until early in the new season after the qualifying rounds, but it has been confirmed that Arsenal are in Pot 2.

Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Barcelona are in Pot One.

But, unlike in previous seasons, that is not a particularly consequential outcome for Arsenal, because they would have had to face two sides from Pot One even if they were a top seed.

It is perhaps a bigger blow for the top seeds, who now know they could have to face Arsenal, plus two other European heavyweights.

Arsenal will be joined in Pot 2 by heavyweights such as Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus. Aston Villa are currently set to be in Pot 4.

Clubs will automatically progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League by finishing in the top eight of the new league format.

The teams finishing from ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure a place in the last-16 stage. Teams ranked 25-36 will be eliminated from all European competitions.

The draw for the league phase will be held on August 29.