Why Arsenal won't be in Champions League pot 1 even if they pip Man City to Premier League title

Arsenal will be in pot 2 of the Champions League next season regardless of whether they win the league

Arsenal will not be in pot one in the revamped UEFA Champions League even if they successfully win the Premier League this season. It was the rule previously that the winners of Europe’s top leagues get an automatic spot in the highest seeding pot of the next season’s elite European competition.

However, as the tournament expands and changes format a round-robin semi-league system next year, Arsenal will not benefit from domestic success should they pull off an unlikely title against Manchester City. Even worse, Liverpool who are expected to finish in third, will be in pot 1 of the Champions League next season despite a predicted lower finish than the Gunners.

The reason behind this is the new seeding system of the competition. Qualifying sides are placed into their respective pots based on their UEFA coefficients and with Arsenal’s current score of 72 points, they are the 22nd-ranked side in Europe.

Results of other sides and their respective league rankings mean that regardless of where other sides finish Arsenal will be in pot 2 next season. Liverpool meanwhile who have 114 points and rank fifth in Europe, join Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig in the top pot.

Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen could still get placed in either of pot one or two depending on the German side’s success in the Europa League. But how does it break down in terms of fixture decision-making?

The 32-team group stage is now becoming a 36-team league stage for the first phase of the competition. Each team will be drawn against eight opponents, two from each of the four seeding pots.

READ MORE: Alexander Isak gives Arsenal the guarantee they need amid dream Declan Rice transfer repeat

READ MORE: Arsenal title blow gives new Mikel Arteta deal greater purpose amid Champions League requirement

This is a change from the group stage where teams could not be drawn against a team in the same pot as themselves. The idea is this will create more high-profile games earlier on in the competition.

They will play four games at home and four away depending on the draw. However, the four home games will be against one side from each respective pot and the same for away fixtures.

This means that Arsenal could get the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the opening stage of the competition. Yet this will be the same for all sides thanks to the new format.