Monaco set for group stage draw

The lineup has been completed for Thursday's UEFA Champions League group stage draw, taking place at 17.45CET at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, with 14 former winners involved.

©Getty Images

The lineup for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage is complete and will feature no fewer than 14 previous winners of Europe's premier club competition while FK Austria Wien will make their debut.

Eleven of the past champions were among the 22 automatic entrants, a number subsequently swelled by the progress of AC Milan, FC Steaua Bucureşti and Celtic FC through this week's ten play-off ties. For the draw, which takes place from 17.45CET on Thursday at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, the 32 contenders 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 FC Bayern München lead the top tier of seeds, all of whom have lifted the trophy apart from 2005/06 runners-up Arsenal FC, and are bidding to become the first team to defend the European Cup since AC Milan, victors in 1989 and 1990. The Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica will stage the final on 24 May 2014 and SL Benfica will hope to reach the showpiece in their own stadium while fellow Portuguese club FC Porto will also be looking to reach the final in their home country.

English champions Manchester United FC are making a record 19th UEFA Champions League appearance in the competition's 22nd edition, one more than FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF and FC Porto. In contrast, Austria Wien are involved for the first time, taking the number of clubs to have featured in the group stage to 128.

Twenty-one of the teams who were involved in last season's group stage are back, with Celtic, Milan and FC Zenit booking their returns on Wednesday night after Arsenal FC and FC Schalke 04 did likewise the previous evening.

Austria aside, Real Sociedad de Fútbol have endured the longest wait for a UEFA Champions League return; not only have they not featured in the competition since reaching the round of 16 in 2003/04 – when they lost to the team they beat in this season's play-offs, Olympique Lyonnais – this is also their first European campaign since then.

In total, clubs from 18 different national associations will play in the group stage, with England, Spain and Germany the best represented with a quartet of teams.

Full calendar

Route Last in Years** 2012/13*** Best****
Pot 1
FC Bayern München Holders 2012/13 16 Winners Winners
x 5
FC Barcelona Champions, Spain 2012/13 17 Semi-finals Winners
x 4
Chelsea FC Third place, England 2012/13 11 UEL, winners* Winners
x 1
Real Madrid CF Runners-up, Spain 2012/13 17 Semi-finals Winners
x 9
Manchester United FC Champions, England 2012/13 18 Round of 16 Winners
x 3
Arsenal FC Fourth place, England 2012/13 15 Round of 16 Runners-up x1
FC Porto Champions, Portugal 2012/13 17 Round of 16 Winners
x 2
SL Benfica Runners-up, Portugal 2012/13 8 UEL, runners-up* Winners
x 2
Pot 2
Club Atlético de Madrid Third place, Spain 2009/10 3 UEL, round of 32 Runners-up x 1
FC Shakhtar Donetsk Champions, Ukraine 2012/13 8 Round of 16 Quarter-finals
AC Milan Third place,
2012/13 16 Round of 16 Winners
x 7
FC Schalke 04 Fourth place, Germany 2012/13 5 Round of 16 Semi-finals
Olympique de Marseille Runners-up, France 2011/12 8 UEL, group stage Winners
x 1
PFC CSKA Moskva Champions, Russia 2011/12 6 UEL, play-offs Quarter-finals
Paris Saint-Germain FC Champions, France 2012/13 5 Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Juventus Champions,
2012/13 13 Quarter-finals Winners
x 2
Pot 3
FC Zenit Runners-up, Russia 2012/13 3 UEL, round of 16* Round of 16
Manchester City FC Runners-up, England 2012/13 2 Group stage Group stage
AFC Ajax Champions, Netherlands 2012/13 11 UEL, round of 32 Winners
x 4
Borussia Dortmund Runners-up, Germany 2012/13 6 Runners-up Winners
x 1
FC Basel 1893 Champions, Switzerland 2011/12 4 UEL, semi-finals Last 16
Olympiacos FC Champions, Greece 2012/13 14 UEL, Round of 32* Quarter-finals
Galatasaray AŞ Champions, Turkey 2012/13 11 Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Bayer 04 Leverkusen Third place, Germany 2011/12 7 UEL, Round of 32 Runners-up x 1
Pot 4
FC København Champions, Denmark 2010/11 2 UEL, group stage Round of 16
SSC Napoli Runners-up,
2011/12 1 UEL, round of 32 Round of 16
RSC Anderlecht Champions, Belgium 2012/13 9 Group stage Semi-finals
Celtic FC Champions, Scotland 2012/13 7 Round of 16 Winners
x 1
FC Steaua
Champions, Romania 2008/09 6 UEL, round of 16 Winners
x 1
FC Viktoria Plzeň Champions, Czech Republic 2011/12 1 UEL, round of 16 Group stage
Real Sociedad de Fútbol Fourth place, Spain 2003/04 1 N/A Semi-finals
FK Austria Wien Champions, Austria N/A 0 Did not participate Semi-finals

*Finished third in UEFA Champions League group
**Past group stage appearances not including 2013/14
***UEFA Champions League unless stated
****Includes pre-1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup
UEL = UEFA Europa League