THE group stage draw for this season’s Uefa Champions League will take place today, with the 32 teams allocated into four pots based on their Uefa coefficient.
All 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups of four, but teams from the same country and same pot cannot be drawn against each other.
Given Premier League winners Manchester City are in pot two, they face the prospect of being drawn against the champions of Spain, Italy and Germany – respectively Real Madrid, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund from pots one, three and four.
As last season’s winners, Chelsea are automatically included in pot one and will consequently avoid Barcelona, Real, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Porto, though the possibility remains of a group stage meeting with France’s Paris St-Germain, now managed by former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Celtic last night beat Helsingborgs 2-0 to secure their own qualification.
LIKELY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW STANDINGS
Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan
Valencia, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg, Schalke, Manchester City, Braga
Olympiakos, Ajax, Anderlecht, Juventus, Paris St Germain, Galatasaray
Borussia Dortmund, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, Malaga, Montpellier, FC Nordsjaelland
Celtic, Lille, Spartak Moscow, CFR Cluj and Dynamo Kiev