Liverpool return to the Champions League later this season and having been placed in pot two for Thursday’s draw there is both a best and a worst-case scenario.
Brendan Rodgers will know his side will be drawn against one of Europe’s best as they must face someone from pot one, but there is a far more easily negotiated route if the draw is kind to the Reds.
Here we take a look at what is likely to be the dream draw for Liverpool:
The Portuguese side may be entering the competition as league champions but they have been severely weakened in recent times, with the loss of the likes of Ezequiel Garay, Nemanja Matic and Rodrigo. Talk remains that Enzo Perez could also be on his way and the simple fact is, of all the teams in pot 1 the Primeira Liga champions are the side everyone else will want.
The Swiss side may be Champions League veterans but they are a far easier proposition than some of the other sides in pot two, most notably Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. While they will not be push-overs and are more than capable of winning home and away, there are the best of a very tricky bunch.
The Slovenian side – along with BATE Borisov – are the side least likely to make it out of the group stage and either club would be a welcome tie for Rodgers as he looks to guide Liverpool into the knock-out round. Six points would be all but guaranteed if the Reds drew Maribor, provided they were fully focused on the task at hand.