Monaco, This Wednesday will definitively mark
the beginning of the new Champions League season, once all of the
playoffs have been wrapped up and the 32 group stage teams are
known for sure before Thursday’s draw in Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum.
The composition of the four pots is quite defined, but there can
be significant variation in three of those depending on the results of the
Of the four, the first is already set.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are there because of their
respective European triumphs last season while the league champions
from Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France and Russia are also
included: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris
Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Seven of the eight are confirmed in pot two: Borussia Dortmund,
Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Roma and
The eighth member will depend on the result of PAOK v Benfica
The Portuguese side will join this pot should they progress, but if
not then Liverpool will take the vacant spot.
Lyon, Monaco, Schalke, Ajax and CSKA Moscow are the
guarantees in pot three while Salzburg and PSV Eindhoven are in the
Valencia and Viktoria Plzen could also get into this grouping.
The fixed names in the fourth pot are Bruges, Galatasaray,
Young Boys, Inter, Hoffenheim and AEK Athens.
This Champions League draw could throw up some really tough
challenges for the Spanish sides in the first pot.
Real Madrid could see Jose Mourinho return with Manchester
United or Iker Casillas come back with Porto while Carlo Ancelotti is
also a possible returnee with Napoli.
Barcelona could be paired with Roma again while Atletico Madrid
could see their coach Diego Simeone have a special reunion with Inter.
Valencia could also face Bayern Munich, allowing them to relive
the 2001 final when the Bavarians came out on top, the Spanish
MARCA newspaper reported.
Source: Oman News Agency