| Pot 1|
Astra Giurgiu11.076League Route
|Red Bull Salzburg||42.520|
|Red Star Belgrade||7.175|
|Hapoel Be'er Sheva||4.725|
So in this new format, the easiest group possible would be CSKA Moscow, Copenhagen, Young Boys and IFK Norrkoping. To think that one of those teams would have to win the group would be exciting for all four teams. I will admit, last years Swedish Champions might struggle a bit but not to the extent that Malmo struggled the past few years.
The easiest group possible in the current format this year would have been CSKA Moscow, Bayern Leverkusen, Club Brugge and Legia Warsaw. The odds of that group coming to fruition was slim to none and at the end of the day, I doubt that group would have been competitive anyway.
A larger group stage opens up the door for more competitive matches. The Champions League Group Stage isn't competitive right now not because the lower teams are bad, but more so because their are too many strong teams with only 8 groups.
Creating a 64 team group stage isn't ideal but it gives the lower level teams a way bigger chance at avoiding strong teams.
Lets face it, Ludogorets Razgrad had no chance at getting out of Group A this year which featured Arsenal, PSG and Basel. Placed in Pot 4 and drew two strong teams and to be honest fared decently all things considered.
Not saying at all that every group would be competitive but the chances are higher. A tough group in the new format would be Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma and Red Bull Salzburg. Based on the numbers that would be the hardest group possible.
If you still don't believe me, simulate a draw yourself. The 32 team group stage is horrid for UEFA right now because the Top 16 are so much better than the next 16 teams in UEFA. This format would make European nights fun again in smaller countries. As of now, too many countries have long droughts of not competing in the group stage. That needs to change, UEFA needs to grow soccer in their 55 countries. Not just the three cities that are named Barcelona, Madrid and Munich.