– Spain present unprecedented five
Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United will find out their Champions League group stage rivals when the draw is made on Thursday..
Chelsea are in pot one alongside fellow seeds
Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Juventus,
Paris St Germain, Zenit St Petersburg and PSV
Arsenal, City and United are in pot two, along with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Porto and
The 32 teams in the draw will be put into eight groups of four.
In a change to previous seasons, pot one will be made up of holders Barcelona and League winners of the top seven European leagues –
Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia – rather than being based on club co-efficients.
As Spanish side Barcelona won last season’s competition, Dutch champions PSV go into
the top pot as Netherlands are the eighth-ranked association.
A team from each of the four pots will be drawn into the eight groups, with no more than one team from any one country in each group.
Five star Spain
Spain are the first nation to have five teams qualify for the Champions League group
stages this season.
Valencia beat Monaco in a Champions League
qualifying play-off to reach the last 32 and they joined Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real
Madrid and Sevilla, who qualified as Europa League winners.
Spanish teams have won four of the last seven Champions League, with Barcelona
defeating Juventus in May’s final.
Spain also lead Uefa’s club coefficient rankings – the system used to decide which
leagues get most qualifying spots for its competitions – by a considerable margin.
One: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea , Juventus, Paris St. Germain, Zenit,
Two: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City, Manchester United , Real Madrid, Porto, Valencia
Three: CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Kiev, Lyon, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Roma, Shakhtar
Four: Astana, BATE Borisov, B. Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Gent, Malmo