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Seeding in the Champions League 2018/2019

UEFA European Cup Football
by Bert Kassies

Last update:

This page shows the preliminary seeding lists in the Champions League 2018/19. It is assumed that all qualified clubs will get a license for European football, unless they lose their final appeal with the national Appeals Body. If you have any information about data at this page being incorrect, incomplete, or out-of-date, please send a message to bert.kassies@xs4all.nl.

This page shows the list of seeded and unseeded teams for draws in the qualifying rounds and the group stage of the Champions League 2018/2019. The UEFA Team Ranking of 2018 determines the seeding of the teams in the tables below. See Qualification 2018/2019 for a list of qualified teams, and Access List 2018/2019 for an overview of berths per country. More detailed information may also be found in the CL Regulations 2018/19. See This season's Champions League qualifying explained for more info.

This is the first season with the new format of the 2018-21 period. All clubs eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League are transferred to the Europa League. For details, see the new Access List 2018/2019. Both the Champions League and the Europa League have a new preliminary round. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th qualifying rounds of the Champions League are split into two sections: one for champions and one for non-champions.

Although the regulations no longer require the use of regional groups (as used before 2009), until now UEFA still uses some kind of regionalization in the first qualifying rounds. At first the clubs are divided into seeded and unseeded teams, and then the seeded and unseeded teams are split into regional groups. The general approach seems to use the North/Central/South scheme, but no specific rules are known.

The Champions League title holder (Real Madrid) already qualified for the CL group stage by the domestic league, so the 11th country on the ranking list (Czech Republic) has direct access to the group stage, the champion of the 13th country on the ranking list (Netherlands, PSV) has direct access to the 4th qualifying round, the champion of the 15th country on the ranking list (Austria, FC Salzburg) has direct access to the 3rd qualifying round, and the champions of the 18th and 19th countries on the ranking list (Denmark and Belarus, BATE Borisov) have direct access to the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Europa League title holder (Atletico Madrid) already qualified for the CL group stage by the domestic league, so the 3rd ranked team from the 5th country on the ranking list (France) gets direct access to the CL group stage. This implies that the runners-up of Turkey and the Czech Replublic have direct access to the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League.

Preliminary round (4 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
FC Santa Coloma          And   2.750              La Fiorita               Sma   1.750
Lincoln Red Imps         Gib   2.750              FC Drita                 Kos   0.000

The preliminary round of the Champions League is in the form of a mini-tournament (June 26-29 in Gibraltar) and consist of 3 matches: 2 semi-finals and a final. See UEFA Champions League preliminary round draw for more info.

The winner of the preliminary round is seeded in the 1st qualifying round by the maximimum coefficient of all teams in the preliminary round. The reason for this is that the draw for the 1st qualifying round is made before the results of the preliminary round are known.

Below it is assumed that highest seeded team of the preliminary round qualifies for the 1st qualifying round.

1st Qualifying Round for Champions (32 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
Ludogorets Razgrad       Bul  37.000              Shkendija Tetovo         Mac   3.500
Celtic                   Sco  31.000              F91 Dudelange            Lux   3.500
APOEL Nicosia            Cyp  27.000              Spartak Trnava           Svk   3.500
Legia Warsaw             Pol  24.500              Valletta FC              Mlt   3.250
FK Astana                Kaz  21.750              Víkingur                 Far   3.000
Garabag Agdam            Azb  20.500              Crusaders Belfast        Nir   3.000
Sheriff Tiraspol         Mol  14.750              Olimpija Ljubljana       Slo   2.900
Malmö FF                 Swe  14.000              FC Santa Coloma *p       And   2.750
Red Star Belgrade        Srb  10.750              Alashkert FC             Arm   2.500
Hapoel Beer-Sheva        Isr  10.000              Sutjeska Niksic          Mon   2.500
Rosenborg BK             Nor   9.000              Suduva Marijampole       Lit   2.000
HJK Helsinki             Fin   8.000              Cork City                Irl   1.750
The New Saints           Wal   5.000              Spartaks Jurmala         Lat   1.750
Videoton Fehérvár        Hun   4.250              Valur Reykjavik          Isl   1.650
FK Kukësi                Alb   4.250              Flora Tallinn            Est   1.250
Zrinjski Mostar          Bos   3.750              Torpedo Kutaisi          Geo   1.000

For the draw of the 1st round the 32 teams are divided into 2 group of 10 teams and 1 groups of 12 teams. The draw groups were as follows:
Group 1
seeded: APOEL Nicosia, Garabag Agdam, Sheriff Tiraspol, The New Saints, Videoton Fehérvár
unseeded: Shkendija Tetovo, F91 Dudelange, Olimpija Ljubljana, Suduva Marijampole, Torpedo Kutaisi
Group 2
seeded: Ludogorets Razgrad, Legia Warsaw, Malmö FF, Rosenborg BK, HJK Helsinki
unseeded: Víkingur, Crusaders Belfast, FC Santa Coloma *p, Cork City, Valur Reykjavik
Group 3
seeded: Celtic, FK Astana, Red Star Belgrade, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, FK Kukësi, Zrinjski Mostar
unseeded: Spartak Trnava, Valletta FC, Alashkert FC, Sutjeska Niksic, Spartaks Jurmala, Flora Tallinn

The draw for the 2nd qualifying round is made before the results of the preliminary round and the 1st qualifying round are known. Clubs of the preliminary round and the 1st qualifying round are seeded by the highest ranking of the clubs involved.

Below it is assumed that seeded teams of the 1st qualifying round qualify for the 2nd qualifying round.

2nd Qualifying Round for Champions (20 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
Ludogorets Razgrad *     Bul  37.000              FC Midtjylland           Den  11.500
Celtic *                 Sco  31.000              Red Star Belgrade *      Srb  10.750
APOEL Nicosia *          Cyp  27.000              Hapoel Beer-Sheva *      Isr  10.000
Legia Warsaw *           Pol  24.500              Rosenborg BK *           Nor   9.000
FK Astana *              Kaz  21.750              HJK Helsinki *           Fin   8.000
Garabag Agdam *          Azb  20.500              The New Saints *         Wal   5.000
BATE Borisov             Bls  20.500              Videoton Fehérvár *      Hun   4.250
Dinamo Zagreb            Cro  17.500              FK Kukësi *              Alb   4.250
Sheriff Tiraspol *       Mol  14.750              CFR Cluj                 Rom   4.090
Malmö FF *               Swe  14.000              Zrinjski Mostar *        Bos   3.750

For the draw of the 2nd round the 20 teams are divided into 2 group of 10 teams. The draw groups were as follows:
Group 1
seeded: Ludogorets Razgrad*, Malmö FF*, Dinamo Zagreb, Garabag Agdam*, FK Astana*
unseeded: Hapoel Beer-Sheva*, Videoton Fehérvár*, FC Midtjylland, CFR Cluj, FK Kukësi*
Group 2
seeded: APOEL Nicosia*, Sheriff Tiraspol*, BATE Borisov, Legia Warsaw*, Celtic*
unseeded: Zrinjski Mostar*, HJK Helsinki*, The New Saints*, Red Star Belgrade*, Rosenborg BK*

2nd Qualifying Round for Non-Champions (4 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
FC Basel                 Sui  71.000              PAOK Thessaloniki        Gre  29.500
Ajax                     Ned  53.500              Sturm Graz               Aut   6.570

The draw for the 3rd qualifying round is made before the results of the 2nd qualifying round are known. Clubs of the 2nd qualifying round are seeded by the highest ranking of the clubs involved.

Below it is assumed that seeded teams of the 2nd qualifying round qualify for the 3rd qualifying round.

3rd Qualifying Round for Champions (12 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
FC Salzburg              Aut  55.500              Garabag Agdam *          Azb  20.500
Ludogorets Razgrad *     Bul  37.000              BATE Borisov **          Bls  20.500
Celtic *                 Sco  31.000              Dinamo Zagreb **         Cro  17.500
APOEL Nicosia *          Cyp  27.000              Sheriff Tiraspol *       Mol  14.750
Legia Warsaw *           Pol  24.500              Malmö FF *               Swe  14.000
FK Astana *              Kaz  21.750              AEK Athens               Gre  10.000

3rd Qualifying Round for Non-Champions (8 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
Benfica                  Por  80.000              Fenerbahçe               Tur  23.500
FC Basel **              Sui  71.000              Spartak Moscow           Rus  13.500
Dinamo Kiev              Ukr  62.000              Standard Ličge           Bel  12.500
Ajax **                  Ned  53.500              Slavia Praha             Cze   7.500

The draw for the 4th qualifying round is made before the results of the 3rd qualifying round are known. Clubs of the 3rd qualifying round are seeded by the highest ranking of the clubs involved.

Below it is assumed that the seeded teams of the 3rd qualifying round qualify for the 4th qualifying round.

4th Qualifying Round for Champions (8 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
FC Salzburg *3           Aut  55.500              APOEL Nicosia *          Cyp  27.000
Ludogorets Razgrad *     Bul  37.000              Legia Warsaw *           Pol  24.500
PSV Eindhoven            Ned  36.000              FK Astana *              Kaz  21.750
Celtic *                 Sco  31.000              Young Boys               Sui  20.500

4th Qualifying Round for Non-Champions (4 teams)

Seeded teams                   coef.              Unseeded teams                 coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
Benfica *3               Por  80.000              Dinamo Kiev *3           Ukr  62.000
FC Basel **              Sui  71.000              Ajax **                  Ned  53.500

Once the 4th qualifying round (or play-off round) has been completed, the 32 remaining clubs are drawn into eight groups of four. Clubs from the same association will not be drawn into the same group. A computer draw determines the final position of the teams within their group. These positions determine the order of the home and away matches. The following match sequence applies:

1st match day: 2 v 3              4th match day: 1 v 3
               4 v 1                             4 v 2

2nd match day: 1 v 2              5th match day: 3 v 2
               3 v 4                             1 v 4

3rd match day: 3 v 1              6th match day: 2 v 1
               2 v 4                             4 v 3
See
2006 draw procedure announced and 2008 group-stage draw for more details of the group stage draw. The CL title-holder, the EL title-holder and the champions of the 6 top-ranked associations are placed in pot 1. If a title-holder is already in pot1 then the champion of the next-ranked association is also put in pot 1. The other pots are filled according to the club ranking.

Below it is assumed that the seeded teams of the 4th qualifying round qualify for the group stage. If unseeded teams qualify other teams may shift to a higher pot.

Group Stage (32 teams)

Pot 1                          coef.              Pot 2                          coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
Real Madrid              Esp 162.000              Borussia Dortmund        Ger  89.000
Atlético Madrid          Esp 140.000              FC Porto                 Por  86.000
FC Barcelona             Esp 132.000              Manchester United        Eng  82.000
Bayern München           Ger 135.000              Shakhtar Donetsk         Ukr  81.000
Manchester City          Eng 100.000              Benfica *3               Por  80.000
Juventus                 Ita 126.000              Napoli                   Ita  78.000
Paris Saint-Germain      Fra 109.000              FC Basel **              Sui  71.000
Lokomotiv Moscow         Rus  22.500              Tottenham Hotspur        Eng  67.000

Pot 3                          coef.              Pot 4                          coef.
------------------------ --- ----------------     ------------------------ --- ----------------
AS Roma                  Ita  64.000              PSV Eindhoven *4         Ned  36.000
Liverpool                Eng  62.000              Valencia                 Esp  36.000
Schalke 04               Ger  62.000              Viktoria Plzen           Cze  33.000
Olympique Lyon           Fra  59.500              Celtic *                 Sco  31.000
AS Monaco                Fra  57.000              Club Brugge              Bel  29.500
FC Salzburg *3           Aut  55.500              Galatasaray              Tur  29.500
CSKA Moscow              Rus  45.000              Internazionale           Ita  16.000
Ludogorets Razgrad *     Bul  37.000              1899 Hoffenheim          Ger  14.285

The eight group-winners and eight runners-up of the group stage qualify for the second round. The clubs that finish this stage in third position in their group move into the third round of the current Europa League. The clubs that finish this stage in fourth position in their group are eliminated.

The draw for the 2nd round takes the following rules into account:
a) Clubs from the same association must not be drawn against each other,
b) The winners and runners-up of the same group must not be drawn against each other,
c) The group winners must not be drawn against each other,
d) The runners up must not be drawn against each other,
e) The runners up must play the first leg at home.
The group winners are seeded above the runners-up.
See 2008 CL 2nd round draw procedure for more details.

Round 2 (16 teams)

1st in CL group                                  2nd in CL group
------------------------ ---                     ------------------------ ---
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For the draw of the quarter-finals and semi-finals no clubs will be seeded.

KEY:
*p=team started in preliminary round
*=team started in 1st qualifying round
**=team started in 2nd qualifying round
*3=team started in 3rd qualifying round
*4=team started in 4th qualifying round


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