Next season will see Chelsea return to the Champions League after a one-season absence from the competitions. Given the clubs 4-1 romping of Arsenal in the Europa League final, the club will find themselves in pot one of August’s draw, keeping them away from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
However, there are still some nightmare teams in pots two and three that could give new boss Frank Lampard sleepless nights.
Here are the best and worst-case scenarios for Chelsea.
Worst case scenario
The worst-case scenario for Chelsea will be a group comprising of Real Madrid (pot two), Olympique Lyonnais (pot three), and RB Leipzig (pot four).
Spanish giants Real Madrid are a team that would frighten even the best of sides in Europe, never mind a side retaining the same inconsistent squad as the previous season due to a two-window transfer ban. Los Blancos recently won a staggering four Champions League titles in five years, with three of them being in three consecutive seasons, showing their strength in Europe’s premier competition.
In pot three, French side Lyon are the stand-out opponents for Chelsea, and as they showed last season with a win away at the Etihad Stadium and a draw at home versus Manchester City, they can be a tricky opponent.
RB Leipzig look to be the hardest opponents of pot four. After their quick rise to the top of the Bundesliga, and under the management of the highly-rated Julian Nagelsmann, they will be harder to face, than their seeding suggests.
Leipzig finished in third in Bundesliga last season, ahead of the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke.
Best case scenario
The best-case scenario for Chelsea would be Porto (pot 2), FC Salzburg (pot three), KRC Genk (pot four).
FC Salzburg haven’t played in for the Champions League since the 1994/1995 season and would represent an easy fixture for Chelsea in next season’s group stage, despite their surprisingly high UEFA coefficient ranking.
In pot four, there are a raft of teams that Chelsea wouldn’t mind, however, taking into account Premier League fixtures, KRC Genk from Belgium would represent the best-case scenario.
Chelsea face a challenging return to the Champions League next season, and ahead of the draw, the Blues could be sweating over who they get, as a disastrous worst-case scenario looms large.