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Eleven former winners grace group stage draw

Published: Wednesday 24 August 2011, 22.40CET
Thursday's group stage draw, which takes place at 17.45CET at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, will feature an impressive 11 former European champions and five newcomers.

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Published: Wednesday 24 August 2011, 22.40CET

Eleven former winners grace group stage draw

Thursday's group stage draw, which takes place at 17.45CET at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, will feature an impressive 11 former European champions and five newcomers.

The lineup for the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage will feature an impressive 11 previous winners of Europe's premier club competition as well as five teams making their debut in this phase.

Nine of the former champions were automatic entrants, a number which was subsequently swelled by the progress of FC Bayern München and SL Benfica through their respective play-off ties. That over a third of the 32 sides in Thursday's draw in Monaco, which takes place from 17.45CET, have lifted the European Cup contrasts with nine last season and ten in 2009/10.

FC Viktoria Plzeň − who accounted for FC København in the play-offs and are experiencing UEFA competition for only the third season − Manchester City FC, SSC Napoli, Trabzonspor AŞ and FC Oţelul Galaţi are preparing for their first group stage campaign. For Oţelul, UEFA Champions League football is a reward for the Romanian club winning their maiden Liga I title last term.

The draw will also feature eight clubs who are returning to Europe's top table after an absence of two seasons or more: FC Zenit St Petersburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, LOSC Lille Métropole, Borussia Dortmund, Villarreal CF, FC BATE Borisov, GNK Dinamo Zagreb and KRC Genk. Of those, Dinamo have endured the longest wait − 12 years. Only 15 of the 32 sides from 2010/11 have qualified again.

In total there are clubs from 18 different national associations taking part in the group stage, with England and Spain the best represented with a quartet of teams. The table below, which splits the 32 sides into the four seeding pots (based on club coefficients), illustrates the level of experience of each of the participants.

Club
RouteLast inYears*2010/11**Best***
Pot 1
FC Barcelona
Holders / Champions, Spain
2010/1115WinnersWinners
x 4
Manchester United FC
Champions, England
2010/1116
Runners-up
Winners
x 3
Chelsea FCRunners-up, England2010/119Quarter-finalsRunners-up
FC Bayern MünchenThird place, Germany
2010/11
14
Round of 16
Winners
x 4
Arsenal FC
Fourth place, England
2010/11
13
Round of 16
Runners-up
Real Madrid CFRunners-up, Spain2010/11
15Semi-finals
Winners
x 9
FC Porto
Champions, Portugal2009/10
15UEL, winners
Winners
x 2
FC Internazionale MilanoRunners-up, Italy2010/1110Quarter-finals
Winners
x 3
Pot 2
AC Milan
Champions, Italy2010/11
14
Round of 16Winners
x 7
Olympique Lyonnais
Third place, France
2010/11
11
Round of 16
Semi-finals
FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Champions, Ukraine
2010/11
6
Quarter-finals
Quarter-finals
Valencia CF
Third place, Spain
2010/11
7
Round of 16
Runners-up
SL Benfica
Runners-up, Portugal2010/116
UEL, semi-finalsWinners
x 2
Villarreal CF
Fourth place, Spain
2008/092
UEL, semi-finals
Semi-finals
PFC CSKA Moskva
Runners-up, Russia
2009/10
5
UEL, round of 16
Quarter-finals
Olympique de Marseille
Runners-up, France
2010/11
7
Round of 16
Winners
x 1
Pot 3
FC Zenit St Petersburg
Champions, Russia
2008/09
1
UEL, round of 16
Group stage
AFC Ajax
Champions, Netherlands2010/119UEL, round of 16Winners
x 4
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Runners-up, Germany
2004/05
6
UEL, round of 16
Runners-up
Olympiacos FC
Champions, Greece
2009/10
12
UEL, 3qr
Quarter-finals
Manchester City FC
Third place, EnglandDebut0
UEL, round of 16
First round
LOSC Lille Métropole
Champions, France
2006/07
3UEL, round of 32
Round of 16
FC Basel 1893
Champions, Switzerland
2010/11
3UEL, round of 32
2nd group stage
FC BATE Borisov
Champions, Belarus
2008/09
1
UEL, round of 32
Group stage
Pot 4
Borussia Dortmund
Champions, Germany
2002/03
6
UEL, group stage
Winners
x 1
SSC Napoli
Third place, Italy
Debut
0
UEL, round of 32
Second round
GNK Dinamo Zagreb
Champions, Croatia
1999/20002
UEL, group stage
Group stage
APOEL FC
Champions, Cyprus2009/101UEL, play-offsGroup stage
Trabzonspor AŞRunners-up, Turkey****
Debut
0
UEL, play-offs
Second round
KRC GenkChampions, Belgium2002/031UEL, play-offsGroup stage
FC Viktoria PlzeňChampions, Czech Rep.
Debut0UEL, 3qrN/A
FC Oţelul Galaţi
Champions, Romania
Debut
0N/A
N/A

*Past group stage appearances not including 2011/12
**UEFA Champions League unless stated
***Includes pre-1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup
**** Trabzonspor replaced Fenerbahçe SK, who were withdrawn from the competition by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF)
UEL = UEFA Europa League
3qr = Third qualifying round

Last updated: 06/12/13 9.52CET

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