Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Serie A quartet ready for Euro draw

Champions League drawThe 2007/08 Champions League group stage draw will take place at 1700 on Thursday at the Grimaldi Forum in Montecarlo.

The 32 teams through to the draw will be placed in four pots according to their UEFA coefficient ranking.

Holders Milan are in Pot 1 along with Serie A champions Internazionale and the other six top ranked clubs - Barcelona (Esp), Liverpool (Eng), Arsenal (Eng), Real Madrid (Esp), Chelsea (Eng) and Manchester United (Eng).

This means none of the top eight seeds will play each other in the early group stage but they will be wary of some of the teams in other pots.

Roma are placed in Pot 2 along with Valencia (Esp), Olympique Lyonnais (Fra), FC Porto (Por), PSV Eindhoven (Ned), Benfica (Por) and Werder Bremen (Ger).

Sevilla (Esp) and AEK Athens (Gre) will both be in the draw as one in Pot 2. They play the second leg of their third qualifying round tie next Monday with the UEFA Cup winners leading 2-0 after the postponement this week due to the death of Antonio Puerta on Tuesday.

Lazio, who won their third qualifying round tie against Dinamo Bucharest this week, are in Pot 3 with Celtic (Sco), Schalke (Ger), Stuttgart (Ger), Steaua Bucharest (Rom), CSKA Moscow (Rus), Sporting Lisbon (Por) and Olympique Marseille (Fra).

Pot 4 is made up of the lowest eight ranked teams - Glasgow Rangers (Sco), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr), Besiktas (Tur), Olympiakos (Gre), Dynamo Kiev (Ukr), Fenerbahce (Tur), Slavia Prague (Cze) and Rosenborg (Nor).

The Champions League group stage will be played on 18/19 September, 2/3 October, 23/24 October, 6/7 November, 27/28 November and 4 or 11/12 December. The winners and runners-up from each pool will progress to the first knockout round in the spring, with the final set for Moscow on 21 May.

Teams finishing third in each group will have the consolation of going into the UEFA Cup Round of 32.

Source: UEFA

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