The four Champions League pots have now been confirmed, after the play-offs for the final six places were completed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Newcastle United disadvantaged as pots 2, 3 and 4 are based on the last five years UEFA coefficient score, so NUFC end up in pot 4 as it was back in 2012/13 when they were last playing in Europe.
The draw for the Champions League group stage is set to begin at 5 pm (UK time) on Thursday.
ESPN say that the match schedule is expected to be announced by Saturday.
So what are the most difficult AND the easiest draws that Newcastle United can get when the draw is made?
ESPN reporting that these are now the four confirmed Champions League pots, so who ideally should we want Newcastle United to pull out of the hat and who to avoid, in terms of giving the best chance to progress.
Here are the four pots and then afterwards I have picked out what appear to be the easiest and most difficult draws NUFC can face.
Red Star Belgrade
I have used the odds generally available from the various bookies to determine the toughest / easiest potential opposition.
The odds quoted are on winning the entire Champions League competition this season, Newcastle United are eighth favourites at 25/1 to win the whole thing.
Manchester City 9/4, Sevilla 100/1 Barcelona 16/1 Napoli 28/1, Bayern Munich 6/1, Paris Saint-Germain 16/1, Benfica 80/1, Feyenoord 200/1
Whilst Newcastle United are down in Pot 4, the one big positive is that you can’t draw clubs from the same country as you. So we can’t get Manchester City, unlike in the League Cup draw!
So taking Man City out of the above..
Pot 1 most difficult possible opponents in order
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG, Napoli
Pot 1 easiest possible opponents in order
Feyenoord, Sevilla, Benfica
Real Madrid 8/1
Manchester United 22/1
Inter Milan 33/1
Borussia Dortmund 50/1
Atletico Madrid 33/1
RB Leipzig 66/1
FC Porto 100/1
Pot 2 most difficult possible opponents in order
Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid
Pot 2 easiest possible opponents in order
Porto, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund
Shakhtar Donetsk 1000/1
FC Salzburg 500/1
AC Milan 40/1
PSV Eindhoven 500/1
Red Star Belgrade 1000/1
FC Copenhagen 1000/1
Pot 3 most difficult possible opponents in order
AC Milan, Lazio
Pot 3 easiest possible opponents in order
Red Star Belgrade, Shakhtar Donetsk, Copenhagen, PSV, Braga, Salzburg
Putting all of the above together, these are the easiest and most difficult (on paper / according to the bookies) groups that Newcastle United could end up with later today.
Newcastle United most difficult possible Champions League group
Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, AC Milan
Newcastle United easiest possible Champions League group
Feyenoord, Porto, Red Star Belgrade
These are the Champions League winning odds for all the other clubs in POT 4
Young Boys 500/1
Real Sociedad 150/1
Newcastle United 25/1
Union Berlin 150/1
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