[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The qualifying phase of the UEFA Champions League finished Wednesday with the last five playoff winners determined, setting up Thursday's draw for the group stage in Monaco. The seeding is based on performances over the last five years, and there are several scenarios for groups of death with Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City both placed in Pot 3 below the top 16 seeds.
You might wonder how a team like Borussia Dortmund, the 2013 runner-up, is seeded 20th out of 32 teams. Well, no extra value is given in the weight
of the coefficients for results in recent years.
And how a team qualifies is irrelevant for seeding purposes, so Arsenal is a top eight seed even though the Gunners, fourth in last year's
EPL, had qualify via the playoff series and Napoli, the Italian runner-up, sits in the fourth pot.
Possible groups range from Barcelona-Paris SG-Borussia Dortmund-Napoli -- the ultimate
group of death -- to Arsenal-CSKA Moscow-FC Basel-Viktoria Plzen -- the cupcake group.
UEFA Champions League:
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, *Arsenal, Porto, Benfica.
Shakhtar Donetsk, *AC Milan, *Schalke 04, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Paris St. Germain, Juventus.
*Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Ajax,
Borussia Dortmund, *FC Basel, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Bayer Leverkusen.
FC Copenhagen, Napoli, Anderlecht, *Celtic, *Steaua Bucharest,
*Viktoria Plzen, *Real Sociedad, *Austria Vienna.
* Qualified via playoffs.