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.
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.
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 the same 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.
Among the teams in Pot 2 are both German entrants, FC Bayern München and Werder Bremen, 2004 winners FC Porto, and Juventus, back in the competition after a two-year absence. Placed in Pot 3 are former European champions Olympique de Marseille, FC Steaua Bucureşti and Celtic FC, plus 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.
The draw will be streamed live on uefa.com. Users need to register , at no cost, to access the live video coverage, and are encouraged to do so in advance as the registration procedure involves the activation of the account after receiving an email. If you have already registered simply log in here .
|1||Manchester United FC (ENG, holders)||107.996|
|2||Chelsea FC (ENG)||124.996|
|3||Liverpool FC (ENG)||118.996|
|4||FC Barcelona (ESP)||117.837|
|5||Arsenal FC (ENG)||110.996|
|6||Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)||99.380|
|7||FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)||96.934|
|8||Real Madrid CF (ESP)||93.837|
|9||FC Bayern München (GER)||92.078|
|10||PSV Eindhoven (NED)||91.610|
|11||Villarreal CF (ESP)||90.837|
|12||AS Roma (ITA)||81.934|
|13||FC Porto (POR)||81.176|
|14||Werder Bremen (GER)||74.078|
|15||Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)||67.176|
|17||Olympique de Marseille (FRA)||63.380|
|18||FC Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)||60.437|
|19||FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)||59.398|
|20||Panathinaikos FC (GRE)||52.525|
|21||FC Girondins de Bordeaux (FRA)||52.380|
|22||Celtic FC (SCO)||52.013|
|23||FC Basel 1893 (SUI)||51.993|
|24||Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)||51.469|
|25||FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)||49.932|
|26||ACF Fiorentina (ITA)||40.934|
|27||Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP)||36.837|
|28||FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)||34.932|
|29||CFR 1907 Cluj (ROU)||13.398|
|30||Aalborg BK (DEN)||12.748|
|31||Anorthosis Famagusta FC (CYP)||4.327|
|32||FC BATE Borisov (BLR)||1.760|