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22 possible Champions League rivals

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25.08.2011 10:00

Barça’s 22 possible Champions League rivals

David Puig

Barça could face the champions of Italy, Germany or France in the group stages of the Champions League, the draw for which will be made on Thursday in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Barça’s 22 possible Champions League rivals

Barça will find out who they are playing in the Champions League groups tonight. The draw begins in Monaco at 17.45, with Guardiola’s side seeded and therefore going into Pot 1 with the other seven seeds. Although Barça won’t meet the theoretically strongest sides in the competition, they could still face such difficult rivals as AC Milan, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

The 32 teams taking part in the Champions League 2011/12 have been arranged as follows:

POT 1: FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, R. Madrid, Porto and Inter.

POT 2: Milan, O. Lyon, Shakhtar, Valencia, Villarreal, CSKA Moscow, O. Marseille, Benfica.

POT 3: Manchester City, Zenit, Ajax, B. Leverkusen, Olympiakos, Lille, Basel and Bate Borisov.

POT 4: B. Dortmund, Napoli, Dynamo Zagreb, Apoel, Racing Genk, Otelul Galati, Victoria Pilsen and Trabzonspor.

The same method will be used as in previous years, so Barça cannot meet any of the other teams in Pot 1, or any teams that play in the Spanish Liga, namely Real Madrid, Valencia and Villarreal. Barça will play one team from each of Pots 2, 3 and 4.

The 32 clubs include 11 current national champions, while there are also five debutants in the competition since it adopted its new format: Victoria Pilsen, Manchester City, Napoli, Trabzonspor and Otelulul Galati.

The draw ceremony will also include the presentations of the awards for the best players in last edition of the competition. Barça has four nominees: Valdés, for best goalkeeper, Piqué, for best defender, Xavi, for best midfielder and Messi, for best forward. Xavi and Messi are also up for the best player award along with Cristiano Ronaldo.

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