Manchester City have flattered to deceive in recent Champions League campaigns, but the Citizens will look to finally get it right in 2019/20 having dominated domestic matters last term.
Pep Guardiola's men have been champions of England for two successive seasons, yet they were eliminated from Europe at the quarter-final stage in both. The demand for a continental crown is growing and the quest begins in September as the groups get underway.
Here's the teams City will be hoping to draw on Thursday and the ones they'll be keen to avoid.
However, there are several strong contenders lurking in Pot 2, so it isn't necessarily plain sailing for Guardiola and his squad.
|Pot 1||UEFA Club Coefficient|
|Zenit St Petersburg||72.000|
Best Case Draw: N/A
Worst Case Draw: N/A
Real Madrid - with their illustrious history in Europe - are without a doubt the biggest name in Pot 2. Nevertheless, they are not the only team to avoid from this group.
The same is true of 2013 finalists Borussia Dortmund, who are currently tearing things up in the Bundesliga. Jadon Sancho continues to thrive at Signal Iduna Park, whilst Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly are just two of a number of first-rate players at Napoli's disposal. The Italians also bested eventual champions Liverpool at home in last season's group stage.
City cannot draw fellow English outfit Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax's run to the semis in 2018/19 will make them a side to be wary of. Benfica would do nicely for Guardiola; a challenge, for sure, but one that the Sky Blues should overcome with (relative) ease.
Best Case Draw: Benfica
Worst Case Draw: Real Madrid
Inter are to be feared this year. Romelu Lukaku has taken to Italian football like a duck to water and Antonio Conte has termed them into a well-oiled machine.
Valencia may be ranked near the foot of this pot, yet the La Liga battlers are a frustrating side to face due to their defensive rigidity. Bayer Leverkusen are another that prioritises a strong team unit over star names, making them a nuisance to come up against.
One of Dinamo Zagreb and Club Brugge would suit City. The Croats have grown accustomed to thrashings in the group stages and rarely venture into the knockouts, whilst their Belgian counterparts do not have the quality in their squad to take on a powerhouse like the Sky Blues.
|Pot 3||UEFA Club Coefficient|
|Red Bull Salzburg||54.500|
Best Case Draw: Dinamo Zagreb
Worst Case Draw: Inter
Much of Lille's success last season came as a result of Nicolas Pepe's stellar form upfront. The Ivorian has since departed for Arsenal, leaving the Ligue 1 side looking rather short on top-level talent.
Fixtures with either them or Slavia Prague would be welcomed by Guardiola, with the latter also lacking the firepower to hurt the Premier League champions.
Conversely, Red Star Belgrade have plenty of it. An away game versus the Serbs is a truly intimidating thought given the immense atmosphere their supporters stir up. Just ask Liverpool.
The Reds came undone in Belgrade nine months ago, the Reds struggling to cope with the ear-splitting noise, as well as the hostilities both on and off the pitch.
|Pot 4||UEFA Club Coefficient|
|Red Star Belgrade||16.750|
Best Case Draw: Lille
Worst Case Draw: Red Star Belgrade
Once the draw is made, group stage fixtures will begin on 17/18 September and conclude 11 weeks later on 10/11 December, followed by the knockout draw soon after.