Champions League Draw Preview

The final qualification round for the 2011-12 Champions League ended today and now we know a little more about what to expect from tomorrow’s draw. The draw will occur at 11:30 EST and be shown on Fox Soccer for those of us in America. So let us break this down a little.

As you may know, all the teams left in the final 32 are placed into 4 pots based on their UEFA coefficients, drawn into 8 groups of 4 teams, and then scheduled to play home and away games against the other 3 teams in their groups. Barcelona currently sits 2nd in the UEFA coeffecient (not that it matters), mostly due to being the only La Liga team past the final 16 until last year. However, being the title holders, Barcelona are the number 1 team in pot 1. Other sides placed into pot 1 include Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich (qualified yesterday), Arsenal (qualified today), Real Madrid, Porto, and Inter. Barcelona cannot be drawn into a group with any of these sides.

The second group includes Milan, Lyon, Shakhtar, Valencia, Benfica, Villareal, CSKA Moscow, and Marseille. Barcelona cannot be drawn with Valencia or Villareal because teams cannot be drawn against domestic league foes in the rounds of 32 or 16. Group 3 is the shocker here because of its strength: Zenit St. Petersburg, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiacos, Manchester City, Lille, Basel, BATE and Borisov. Barcelona can be drawn against any of these teams. Finally, group 4 contains Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Dinamo Zagreb, APOEL, Trabzonspor (taking over for Fenerbache who are involved in a match-fixing investigation), Genk, Viktoria Plzen, and Otelul Galati. Barcelona can draw any of these sides.

In my opinion, the best case scenario for Barça involves drawing Marseille or Benfica (because I want nothing to do with Eastern European nations or Milan) from Group 2. Drawing Lille, BATE, or Basel (no to City, Ajax, any Greek team, or Zenit). And then drawing any of the Group D teams that is not Dortmund (they are better than a lot of people know).

A worst case scenario involves drawing Milan or Shaktar, Manchester City, and Dortmund. Though I still believe Barcelona would finish up top there, it would be much more difficult and risk the players a lot more.

So sit back, relax, and we will find out very soon where Barcelona lines up for the Round of 32.

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.

277 comments

  1. lol Puyol wearing a yellow collared shirt in what looks like a black tie event. LIKE A BOSS!

  2. For those wondering why City can’t be on Group H, Dale Johnson from ESPNsoccernet talks about ‘TV reason’. Basically there should be two clubs from the same country at each half (ie. A-D and E-F). Since Chelsea and Arsenal are in the latter half of the groups, City can only be placed on Group A, B or D.

    1. Sounds suspicious. I’m sure it’s somehow part of UEFA’s conspiracy to keep Madrid down.

    2. I was hoping for EE Milan City and Dortmund. Mourinho must be mad if that happened 😀

  3. About the voting.Yes it was probably uncomfortable but its hardly giving a kidney.Miss Universe have to go through it 😀

  4. via barcastuff :
    Puyol: “I’ve been watching all the suits I have.. and I feel best wearing the one with the Barça crest close to my heart”
    thats the spirit capitano.

    1. It sounded really modest when he said it, as it was more like “well I always have space at home, and find somewhere to put each of these awards.” Plus he was really effusive about being able to share this award with his teammate up on stage and the rest of his team.

    2. Oh, I know that, it just sounds funny. And of course some people are going to take it the wrong way. It’s just so Messi.

  5. Didn’t like the draw TBH. But we take it as it comes.

    Now waiting the fixtures chart and hoping first game will be away at the Hlebbing club. Better than when it get colder.

  6. i didnt want milan… not that we won’t win…. i just would like to never, ever see ibra’s face again.

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