Man City could face tough task

Full details of the pots ahead of the Champions League group stage draw, which will be made at around 1645 BST today.

Last Updated: 29/08/13 at 16:50 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City could have lots to do.

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City could have lots to do.

Manchester City could face a repeat of last year's Champions League horror draw when the groups for this season are selected on Thursday.

Twelve months ago, City's low seeding saw the club end up in a group with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, then the champions of Spain, Germany and Holland respectively.

That contributed to a failure to make the knock-out stages - and possibly to the departure of Roberto Mancini as manager.

Another effect of that failure is that City's co-efficient continues to be low compared to the other English teams in the competition, and raises the prospect of another 'group of death'.

UEFA calculates clubs' co-efficient based on their results in Europe over the last five years and rewards consistency, and also takes into account the national team's co-efficient.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are among the eight top seeds but City are one of the eight clubs in the pot of third seeds.

That leaves Manuel Pellegrini's side open to being drawn with holders Bayern Munich or Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The worst-case scenario would see City in a group with Bayern, now managed by Pep Guardiola, plus big-spending French champions Paris St Germain - who are second seeds - and Napoli, the Italian club now managed by Rafa Benitez.

Napoli are among the fourth seeds, and are the club to avoid from that pot as Benitez has former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain among his new recruits.

Celtic are also in pot 4 with Napoli after the Scottish champions defeated Shakhtyor Karagandy 3-2 on aggregate to progress.

The draw in Monaco sees 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four.

Each group will be made up of one club from the pot of top seeds, one from the group of second seeds, one from the third seeds and one from the fourth seeds.

No club can be in a group with another club from the same country, or from the same pot of seeds, which means United, Chelsea and Arsenal will all be assured of avoiding each other and the biggest names in Europe until the knock-out rounds.

Champions League draw pots

Pot 1

Bayern Munich
Barcelona
Chelsea
Real Madrid
Manchester United
Arsenal
Porto
Benfica

Pot 2

Atletico Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk
AC Milan
Schalke
Marseille
CSKA Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain
Juventus

Pot 3

Zenit St Petersburg
Manchester City
Ajax
Borussia Dortmund
Basel
Olympiacos
Galatasaray
Bayer Leverkusen

Pot 4

FC Copenhagen
Napoli
Anderlecht
Celtic
Steaua Bucharest
Vkitoria Plzen
Real Sociedad
Austria Vienna


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