- Champions League
Arsenal among top seeds for Champions League draw
Arsenal have secured the last position in Pot 1 for Thursday's Champions League group stage draw, joining the other seven seeded clubs.
FC Porto had confirmed their berth among the elite on Tuesday after beating Lille in their play-off clash, which left one spot open. Arsenal beat Besiktas at Emirates Stadium to take their place in the draw, which means Schalke just missed out on being seeded.
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Manchester City will be grateful for the demise of their neighbours and rivals United, as they have just edged the last place in Pot 2. Had United qualified for the Champions League this season and not Liverpool, then City would have been in Pot 3 and more likely to face a tougher draw. Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are all in Pot 2 with City and will provide heavyweight group opposition.
Liverpool will be hoping for a favourable group on their return to the competition from the third pot of seeds. And as Liverpool and City will both definitely be drawn against one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Atletico Madrid or Porto, they will likely hope to be headed for Portugal.
Just as in past seasons, Pot 4 will have a sting in the tail for a couple of groups as it features both Roma and Monaco -- runners-up to worthy domestic champions in Juve and PSG in Italy and France respectively.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW POTS
Teams from the same national association cannot be drawn against each other.
Pot 1 Real Madrid (Spain) Barcelona (Spain) Bayern Munich (Germany) Chelsea (England) Benfica (Portugal) Atletico Madrid (Spain) Arsenal (England) FC Porto (Portugal)
Pot 2 Schalke (Germany) Borussia Dortmund (Germany) Juventus (Italy) Paris Saint-Germain (France) Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) FC Basel (Switzerland) Zenit St Petersburg (Russia) Man City (England)
Pot 3 Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) Olympiakos (Greece) CSKA Moscow (Russia) Ajax (Netherlands) Liverpool (England) Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) Galatasaray (Turkey) Athletic Bilbao (Spain)
Pot 4 Anderlecht (Belgium) AS Roma (Italy) APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus) BATE Borisov (Belarus) Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) NK Maribor (Slovenia) Malmo (Sweden) AS Monaco (France)
LiverpoolFavourable draw: Benfica, FC Basel, Malmo Unforgiving draw: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Roma
Manchester CityFavourable draw: Benfica, Olympiakos, Malmo Unforgiving draw: Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma