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Champions League lineup and seedings set

The lineup and seedings are complete for Thursday's UEFA Champions League group stage draw, taking place at 17.45CET at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco with 12 past winners involved.

The trophy on display in Monaco
The trophy on display in Monaco ©Getty Images

The lineup for the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage is complete and will feature an impressive 12 previous winners of Europe's premier club competition as well as three teams making their debut in this phase.

Eleven of the past champions were among the 22 automatic entrants, a number subsequently swelled by the progress of Celtic FC through one of this week's ten play-offs. For the draw, which takes place from 17.45CET on Thursday at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, the 32 entrants have been split into four seeding pots (based on club coefficients), with each of the eight groups to contain one team from each tier.

No club can meet a side from their own association and the draw procedure will be explained during the ceremony, which also includes the presentation of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

Holders Chelsea FC lead the top tier of seeds, all of whom have lifted the trophy apart from 2005/06 runners-up Arsenal FC, and both London clubs will hope to emulate FC Bayern München's 2011/12 feat of playing the final in their home city – with the competition concluding at Wembley on Saturday 25 May. The third English team in Pot 1, Manchester United FC, are making a record 18th appearance in this, the 21st UEFA Champions League campaign proper.

By contrast, this is the first entry by French champions Montpellier Hérault SC, Denmark's FC Nordsjælland and play-off winners Málaga CF, a side enjoying only their second European appearance – which takes the number of clubs to have figured in the group stage to 127. Meanwhile, for the team that Montpellier pipped to last season's Ligue 1 title, Paris Saint-Germain FC, it is a first UEFA Champions League campaign in eight years, with other clubs ending absences being Juventus, Galatasaray AŞ and RSC Anderlecht.

Of the 32 sides that competed last term, 20 have qualified again – LOSC Lille completing the lineup after their extra-time defeat of FC København in the last play-off to finish on Wednesday. In total, clubs from 17 different national associations will play in the group stage, with England and Spain the best represented with a quartet of teams.

Full calendar

RouteLast inYears**2011/12***Best****
Pot 1
Chelsea FCHolders2011/1210WinnersWinners
x 1
FC BarcelonaRunners-up, Spain2011/1216Semi-finalsWinners
x 4
Manchester United FCRunners-up, England2011/1217UEL, Round of 16*Winners
x 3
FC Bayern MünchenRunners-up, Germany2011/1215Runners-upWinners
x 4
Real Madrid CFChampions, Spain2011/1216Semi-finalsWinners
x 9
Arsenal FCThird place, England2011/1214Round of 16Runners-up
FC PortoChampions, Portugal2011/1216UEL, Round of 32*Winners
x 2
AC MilanRunners-up, Italy2011/1215Quarter-finalsWinners
x 7
Pot 2
Valencia CFThird place, Spain2011/128UEL, Semi-finals*Runners-up
SL BenficaRunners-up, Portugal2011/127Quarter-finalsWinners x 2
FC Shakhtar DonetskChampions, Ukraine2011/127Group stageQuarter-finals
FC Zenit St PetersburgChampions, Russia2010/112Round of 16Round of 16
FC Schalke 04Third place, Germany2010/114UEL, Quarter-finalsSemi-finals
City FC
Champions, England2011/121UEL, Round of 16*Group stage
SC BragaThird place, Portugal2010/111UEL, Round of 32Group stage
FC Dynamo KyivRunners-up, Ukraine2009/1014UEL, group stageSemi-finals
Pot 3
Olympiacos FCChampions, Greece2011/1213UEL, Round of 16*Quarter-finals
AFC AjaxChampions, Netherlands2011/1210UEL, Round of 32*Winners
x 4
RSC AnderlechtChampions, Belgium2006/078UEL, Round of 32Semi-finals
JuventusChampions, Italy2010/1112N/AWinners
x 2
FC Spartak MoskvaRunners-up, Russia2010/1110UEL, Group stageSemi-finals
Paris Saint-Germain FCRunners-up, France2004/054UEL, Group stageSemi-finals
LOSC LilleThird place, France2011/124Group stageRound of 16
Galatasaray AŞChampions, Turkey2006/0710N/AQuarter-finals
Pot 4
Celtic FCChampions, Scotland2008/096UEL, Group stageWinners
x 1
Borussia DortmundChampions, Germany2011/125Group stageWinners
x 1
FC BATE BorisovChampions, Belarus2011/122Group stageGroup stage
GNK Dinamo ZagrebChampions, Croatia2011/123Group stageGroup stage
CFR 1907 ClujChampions, Romania2011/122Group stageGroup stage
Málaga CFFourth place, SpainDebut0N/AN/A
Montpellier Hérault SCChampions, FranceDebut0N/AN/A
FC NordsjællandChampions, DenmarkDebut0UEL, Play-offsN/A

*Finished third in UEFA Champions League group
**Past group stage appearances not including 2012/13
***UEFA Champions League unless stated
****Includes pre-1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup
UEL = UEFA Europa League

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