UEFA Champions League 2020/21: How it looks for Portuguese teams so far

Whilst the UEFA Champions League 2019/20 campaign heads for the home straight in Lisbon, the 2020/21 campaign has already begun with the first round qualifiers kicking off on Saturday 8th August.

For the 2020/21 season, two Portuguese clubs qualified for the tournament in the form of FC Porto and SL Benfica, with the Dragões qualifying directly to the group stage and Jorge Jesus’ As Águias entering the tournament at the third qualifying round stage.

When are the draws?

Benfica will find out their opponent for the third qualifying round on the 31st of August 2020. Should they manage to successfully pass this round, up next is the play-off draw a day later on the 1st of September. The play-off is the final round before entrance to the group stages and the Champions League proper.

FC Porto last conquered the Champions League in its current format in 2004.

FC Porto on the other hand have the luxury of avoiding qualifiers due to their conquest of the Primeira Liga and thus enter the competition directly into thr group stages. Sérgio Conceição’s men will find out their group stage opponents on the 1st of October 2020.

Possible opponents?

For Benfica, the teams joining them in the third qualifying round (league path) are; Dynamo Kyiv, Krasnodar, Gent and Rennes. Three others will join them in this round, the three winners of of their respective second-round qualifying ties. Those teams that could be entering the third-round qualifiers are; Besiktas, Viktoria Plzen, Rapid Wien, PAOK, AZ, Lokomotiva Zagreb.

The furthest Benfica have reached in the Champions League in its current format is the quarter-final in 2015-16, losing to Bayern München.

For FC Porto, they could possibly be Pot 1, 2 or 3 depending on other variables. The higher the pot, the better the draw for Porto, as each group will consist of a team from pot 1, 2, 3 and 4. If Porto are deemed a pot 1 team, they’ll avoid being drawn against the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool among others, if they are a pot 2 team they’ll avoid Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea as well as others whose pot is not yet determined.

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