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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Champions League Draw

English sides dominate the seedings for the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage draw which will take place from 18.00CET on Thursday at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum.

Qualifying concluded

Sixteen teams gained automatic entry to the competition proper and the same number came through the third qualifying round on Tuesday and Wednesday. Making their debut in the group stage are UEFA Cup holders FC Zenit St. Petersburg, CFR 1907 Cluj of Romania, the first Belarussian qualifiers, FC BATE Borisov, and the inaugural Cypriot entrants Anorthosis Famagusta FC. In all 17 nations are represented in the draw, the ceremony for which will include the UEFA Club Football Awards.

Top seeds

As usual the 32 sides are split into four seeding pots, with one from each being drawn into the eight groups, though no team can meet another from their own association. All four English clubs are included in Pot 1 – holders Manchester United FC, last season's runners-up Chelsea FC, five-time winners Liverpool FC, and Arsenal FC – and alongside them are FC Barcelona, Olympique Lyonnais, FC Internazionale Milano and the competition's most successful side, Real Madrid CF.

Contenders
Among the teams in Pot 2 are both German entrants, FC Bayern München and Werder Bremen, 2004 winners FC Porto, and Juventus, who are back in the competition after a two-year absence. Placed in Pot 3 are former European champions Olympique de Marseille, FC Steaua Bucureşti, Celtic FC, Zenit and last term's quarter-finalists Fenerbahçe SK. Pot 4 features Club Atlético de Madrid, ACF Fiorentina and the two survivors from the first qualifying round, BATE and Anorthosis. Matchday 1 will be on 16/17 September, with fixtures continuing on 30 September/1 October, 21/22 October, 4/5 November, 25/26 November and 9/10 December. As usual the top two sides will progress to the first knockout round draw on 19 December while those finishing third will enter the UEFA Cup Round of 32.


Pot 1:
Chelsea
Liverpool
Barcelona
Arsenal
Manchester United
Lyon
Inter Milan
Real Madrid

Pot 2:
Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven
Villareal
AS Roma
FC Porto
Werder Bremen
Sporting Lisbon
Juventus

Pot 3:
Marseille
Zenit St. Petersburg
Steaua Bucaresti
Panathinaikos
Bordeaux
Celtic
FC Basel
Fenerbahce

Pot 4:
Shakhtar Donetsk
Fiorentina
Atletico Madrid
Dinamo Kiev
CFR Cluj
AaB Aalborg
Anorthosis
BATE Borisov


Pot 3:
Marseille
Zenit St. Petersburg

Steaua Bucaresti
Panathinaikos
Bordeaux
Celtic
FC Basel
Fenerbahce

Pot 4:
Shakhtar Donetsk
Fiorentina
Atletico Madrid
Dinamo Kiev

CFR Cluj
AaB Aalborg
Anorthosis
BATE Borisov

Some possible groups of death.

 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
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Group A
Chelsea FC
AS Roma
FC Bordeaux
CFR Cluj

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Group B
Inter Milan
Bremen
Panathinaikos
Anorthosis

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Group C
Barcelona
Sporting
Basel
Shaktar

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Group D
Liverpool
PSV
Marseille
Atletico Madrid

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Group E
Manchester Utd
Villareal CF
Celtic
Allborg

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Group F
Olympique L.
Bayern
Steaua
Fiorentina

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Group G
Arsenal
FC Porto
Fenerbahce
Dynamo Kiev

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Group H
Real Madrid
Juventus
Zenit
FC Bate
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