Champions League play-off contenders in profile

With the prize of a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage now in sight, UEFA.com considers the pedigree of the 20 clubs involved in Friday's play-off draw.

The UEFA Champions League trophy prior to the play-off draw in Nyon, Switzerland
The UEFA Champions League trophy prior to the play-off draw in Nyon, Switzerland ©Getty Images for UEFA

Four former winners and four teams hoping to reach the group stage for the first time are among 20 clubs lining up for Friday's UEFA Champions League play-off draw.

AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Celtic FC and FC Steaua Bucureşti have all won Europe's premier club trophy and they are now one step away from being in the competition proper once again. Contrastingly, for FC Metalist Kharkiv, FC Paços de Ferreira, PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and FC Shakhter Karagandy, the group stage would be uncharted territory.

Friday's draw, held in Nyon, Switzerland, will commence at 11.45CET, with ten teams allocated to the champions route and ten to the league route, depending on how they qualified for the competition. All ten clubs in the champions route came through the third qualifying round. Five other qualifiers are in the league side of the draw, where they will be joined by Arsenal FC, AC Milan, FC Schalke 04, Real Sociedad de Fútbol and FC Paços de Ferreira.

Five in each section are seeded according to the club coefficient rankings established at the start of the season, and will be drawn against the other five. Balls containing the seeded teams will be placed in one bowl, with balls for the unseeded clubs positioned in another. A ball will be taken from each bowl and placed in a large empty bowl in the middle, where they will be shuffled. The first team drawn will play their first match at home, against the second side drawn.

The ten winners of the play-off round ties join 22 automatic entrants in the group stage draw in Monaco on 29 August.

LEAGUE ROUTE
Seeded: Arsenal FC, Olympique Lyonnais, AC Milan, FC Schalke 04, FC Zenit St Petersburg
Unseeded: PSV Eindhoven, FC Metalist Kharkiv, Fenerbahçe SK, Real Sociedad de Fútbol, FC Paços de Ferreira

Arsenal lost in the 2006 final
Arsenal lost in the 2006 final©AFP

Arsenal FC (ENG)
Entered competition: play-offs (2012/13: fourth in Premier League)
Group stage campaigns: 15 (last appearance: 2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (2006)

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Entered competition: third qualifying round (2012/13: third in Ligue 1)
Group stage campaigns: 12 (2011/12)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (2009/10)

AC Milan (ITA)
Entered competition: play-offs (2012/13: third in Serie A)
Group stage campaigns: 16 (2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: winners (2006/07, 2002/03, 1993/94, 1989/90, 1988/89, 1968/69, 1962/63)

FC Schalke 04 (GER)
Entered competition: play-offs (2012/13: fourth in Bundesliga)
Group stage campaigns: 5 (2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (2010/11)

FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS)
Entered competition: third qualifying round (2012/13: runners-up in Russian Premier League)
Group stage campaigns: 3 (2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
Best European Cup performance: round of 16 (2011/12)

PSV lifted the trophy in 1988
PSV lifted the trophy in 1988©Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Entered competition: third qualifying round (2012/13: runners-up in Eredivisie)
Group stage campaigns: 13 (2008/09)
Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
Best European Cup performance: winners (1987/88)

FC Metalist Kharkiv (UKR)*
Entered competition: third qualifying round (2012/13: runners-up in Ukrainian Premier League)
Group stage campaigns: 0
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32
Best European Cup performance: N/A

Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)*
Entered competition: third qualifying round (2012/13: runners-up in Turkish Super League)
Group stage campaigns: 6 (2008/09)
Last season: UEFA Europa League semi-finals
Best European Cup performance: quarter-finals (2007/08)

Real Sociedad de Fútbol (ESP)
Entered competition: play-offs (2012/13: fourth in Spanish Liga)
Group stage appearances: 1 (2003/04)
Last season; N/A
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (1982/83)

FC Paços de Ferreira (POR)
Entered competition: play-offs (2012/13: third in Portuguese First Division)
Group stage appearances: 0
Last season: N/A
Best European Cup performance: N/A

Basel reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals last season
Basel reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals last season©Getty Images

CHAMPIONS ROUTE
Seeded:
FC Basel 1893, Celtic FC, FC Steaua Bucureşti, FC Viktoria Plzeň, GNK Dinamo Zagreb
Unseeded:
FK Austria Wien, Legia Warszawa, NK Maribor, PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, FC Shakhter Karagandy

FC Basel 1893 (SUI)
Entered competition: third qualifying round
Group stage campaigns: 4 (last appearance: 2011/12)
Last season: UEFA Europa League semi-finals
Best European Cup performance: quarter-finals

Celtic FC (SCO)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage campaigns: 7 (2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: winners (1966/67)

FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 6 (2008/09)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: winners (1985/86)

FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 1 (2011/12)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: group stage

GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 4 (2012/13)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
Best European Cup performance: group stage

FK Austria Wien (AUT)
Entered competition: third qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 0
Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals

Legia Warszawa (POL)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 1 (1995/96)
Last season: UEFA Europa League play-offs
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals

Maribor celebrate reaching the play-offs
Maribor celebrate reaching the play-offs©Drago Wernig/Taka

NK Maribor (SVN)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 1 (1999/00)
Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
Best European Cup performance: first group stage

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 0
Last season: second qualifying round
Best European Cup performance: second qualifying round

FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ)
Entered competition: second qualifying round
Group stage appearances: 0
Last season: UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
Best European Cup performance: second qualifying round

* The participation of Fenerbahçe SK and FC Metalist Kharkiv in the competition is subject to pending disciplinary and CAS proceedings.

Top