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

Route Last in Years** 2011/12*** Best****
Pot 1
Chelsea FC Holders 2011/12 10 Winners Winners
x 1
FC Barcelona Runners-up, Spain 2011/12 16 Semi-finals Winners
x 4
Manchester United FC Runners-up, England 2011/12 17 UEL, Round of 16* Winners
x 3
FC Bayern München Runners-up, Germany 2011/12 15 Runners-up Winners
x 4
Real Madrid CF Champions, Spain 2011/12 16 Semi-finals Winners
x 9
Arsenal FC Third place, England 2011/12 14 Round of 16 Runners-up
FC Porto Champions, Portugal 2011/12 16 UEL, Round of 32* Winners
x 2
AC Milan Runners-up, Italy 2011/12 15 Quarter-finals Winners
x 7
Pot 2
Valencia CF Third place, Spain 2011/12 8 UEL, Semi-finals* Runners-up
SL Benfica Runners-up, Portugal 2011/12 7 Quarter-finals Winners x 2
FC Shakhtar Donetsk Champions, Ukraine 2011/12 7 Group stage Quarter-finals
FC Zenit St Petersburg Champions, Russia 2010/11 2 Round of 16 Round of 16
FC Schalke 04 Third place, Germany 2010/11 4 UEL, Quarter-finals Semi-finals
City FC
Champions, England 2011/12 1 UEL, Round of 16* Group stage
SC Braga Third place, Portugal 2010/11 1 UEL, Round of 32 Group stage
FC Dynamo Kyiv Runners-up, Ukraine 2009/10 14 UEL, group stage Semi-finals
Pot 3
Olympiacos FC Champions, Greece 2011/12 13 UEL, Round of 16* Quarter-finals
AFC Ajax Champions, Netherlands 2011/12 10 UEL, Round of 32* Winners
x 4
RSC Anderlecht Champions, Belgium 2006/07 8 UEL, Round of 32 Semi-finals
Juventus Champions, Italy 2010/11 12 N/A Winners
x 2
FC Spartak Moskva Runners-up, Russia 2010/11 10 UEL, Group stage Semi-finals
Paris Saint-Germain FC Runners-up, France 2004/05 4 UEL, Group stage Semi-finals
LOSC Lille Third place, France 2011/12 4 Group stage Round of 16
Galatasaray AŞ Champions, Turkey 2006/07 10 N/A Quarter-finals
Pot 4
Celtic FC Champions, Scotland 2008/09 6 UEL, Group stage Winners
x 1
Borussia Dortmund Champions, Germany 2011/12 5 Group stage Winners
x 1
FC BATE Borisov Champions, Belarus 2011/12 2 Group stage Group stage
GNK Dinamo Zagreb Champions, Croatia 2011/12 3 Group stage Group stage
CFR 1907 Cluj Champions, Romania 2011/12 2 Group stage Group stage
Málaga CF Fourth place, Spain Debut 0 N/A N/A
Montpellier Hérault SC Champions, France Debut 0 N/A N/A
FC Nordsjælland Champions, Denmark Debut 0 UEL, Play-offs N/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