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October 2016
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The early early CL draw edition

By Walter Broeckx

Today the first draw was made for the European competitions for the season 2015-2016.  With this draw one could say that the new run for the big trophy has started. And as Untold is running a bit ahead most of the time why not this time.

So we have already filled the 4 pots for the CL draw at the end of August. Now of course there are a lot of matches that have to be played between now and the final draw but as Arsenal is already certain of being in the pot we just have a look at who we might meet. And who we will certainly not meet.

As you might have heard the way the pots are made up has changed from this season. And so Arsenal is no longer in pot 1 for this season. Not that being in pot 1 has helped us sometimes as we had a few difficult groups in the past. But let us have a look at the pots. Now of course as not all the qualifying rounds have been played this is not 100% possible. But I took the Uefa coefficient of each team and then did as if there will be no surprises in the qualifying rounds this summer.

You will see the different pots with the names of the teams and if you see a name with an “*” behind it you should know that this is a team that still has to qualify for the group stages in the next weeks. But I ordered them on their coefficient and then I will also mention the teams that didn’t make it but still could make it if they beat stronger opponents on the road to the group stages.

Pot 1
FC Barcelona (ESP, holders) coefficient: 164.999
FC Bayern München (GER) 154.883
Chelsea FC (ENG) 142.078
SL Benfica (POR) 118.276
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 100.483
Juventus (ITA) 95.102
FC Zenit (RUS) 90.099
PSV Eindhoven (NED) 58.195

I can think all the other teams in pot 2, 3 and 4 hoping for PSV to be drawn in their group. PSV only got in this pot because Barcelona won the CL and won the title and thus the champion of the 8th country on the Uefa list got a place in pot 1. Otherwhise PSV would probably have ended up in pot 3 or 4 based on their coefficient.

So Arsenal will get at least one of them but not Chelsea of course. Pick your favourite. As PSV is situated on the other side of the border just 45 minutes away from my house you can imagine that I would want PSV in our group.

Possible pot 2
Real Madrid CF (ESP) 171.999
Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP) 120.999
FC Porto (POR) 111.276
Arsenal FC (ENG) 110.078
Manchester United FC (ENG) 103.078 *
Valencia CF (ESP) 99.999 *
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER) 87.883 *
Manchester City FC (ENG) 87.078

The Arsenal pot. We will play none of these teams. With the old way we would have been in pot 1 still but now we are in pot 2. Together with the other English clubs. and Real Madrid. But we will not see any of those teams till in the later stages.  So let’s move on to the possible pot 3.

Possible pot 3
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 86.033 *
FC Basel 1893 (SUI) 84.875 *
Sevilla FC (ESP) 80.499
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 72.983
FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) 65.033
Olympiacos FC (GRE) 62.380
Galatasaray AŞ (TUR) 50.020
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR) 56.276 *

The pot with ‘teams to avoid’ as I would call it. Shakhtar Donetsk… difficult team usually. Sevilla…twice Europa league winners. Lyon, Olympiacos, Galatasaray… not really teams you like to play against away from home. Mind you Shakhtar and Bases still have to qualify for this group and if they drop out against lower placed teams the teams from pot 4 may move up a bit.

In this group no team close to my home so I really don’t know where to turn to for this group. I wonder if the new stadium of Lyon is already open and if so that would be a good ground to go to. So from this group I would take Lyon.

Possible pot 4
AFC Ajax (NED) 66.195 *
SS Lazio (ITA) 49.102 *
AS Roma (ITA) 43.602
FC Salzburg (AUT) 43.135 *
FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) 41.825 *
VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER) 33.883
VfL Wolfsburg (GER) 31.883
KAA Gent (BEL) 13.440

The “my cup of tea” group. If PSV from group 1 is around the corner in this group I find 3 possible teams also around my corner. Gent, champions of Belgium is around 1 hour away from door to door. Borussia Monchengladbach is also just over one hour away from my house. And if we don’t get PSV then give me Ajax from this group as that is only 1.5 hour away from home. More or less depending on the traffic.

So probably it all will go wrong and we will draw one of the teams from Rome.

Of course there are other teams lurking around hoping to enter the group stages and put out the teams marked with a * during the summer. Teams like:

PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS) 55.599
Club Brugge KV (BEL) 41.440
AS Monaco FC (FRA) 31.483
BSC Young Boys (SUI) 31.375
AC Sparta Praha (CZE) 30.825
Fenerbahçe SK (TUR) 30.020
Panathinaikos FC (GRE) 19.880
SK Rapid Wien (AUT) 15.635
FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU) 40.259
Celtic FC (SCO) 39.080
APOEL FC (CYP) 35.460
FC BATE Borisov (BLR) 35.150
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) 25.250
GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 24.700
NK Maribor (SVN) 22.225
Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) 18.200

The chaps from Monaco are in this group of teams so they probably have a big chance to eliminate one of the teams in the provisional pots. I wouldn’t mind Club Brugge to upset some of the other teams and qualify. They are just 1 hour and 15 minutes away from my house.

So if I could get it my way I would want one team from Holland, one from Belgium and if that would be the case then I wouldn’t mind who would be the other team to fill up the gap. My ‘dream group draw’ would be: PSV, Arsenal, Lyon, Gent. I probably just jinxed it by saying it aloud.

What would be your first choice group for Arsenal?

Untold Arsenal

Arsenal History Society

10 comments to The early early CL draw edition

  • Big Mal

    I like hanging around gymnasiums and watching movies about gladiators. Coys

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I don’t mind being in a group with one of the big teams like Bayern or Barcelona. To my mind that is what being in the Champions League is all about. I just hope that we don’t have to travel half way around the globe to play against Russian and Ukrainian sides (for example). The jet lag and all that hurts our preparation for league matches.

  • Lium Brudu

    Hey you forgot about the mighty Dundalk FC who could still take the Chumpions League by storm this season…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Since we get to start in a later round for a change , could it mean that we remain fresher and move one round or more ( …please , please !), further ?

  • nicky

    What is of more significance to the millions who can only follow their favourite teams in the CL, via satellite TV, is the fact that Sky and/or ITV will no longer be broadcasting the games next season.
    BT Sports will now be taking over and the subscription to their designated channel is already showing alarming increases. 😉

  • para

    Brickfields Gunners
    We’re going to the end this season, don’t you know that? 🙂

  • Nonny

    How about a group of Barca, Arsenal, Sharkhtar and Wolfsburg. That would definitely be a group to behold.

  • Micheal Ram

    I hope Arsenal gets into a group with Barcelona, Sporting and Roma. At least, the players are exposed to challengers early and AW can figure out the right formulas again, like the away Man City win. And all these three teams play proper attacking football without any physical tactics. Games that we, fans can enjoy as much as the players and to avoid injuries.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ para -June 23, 2015 at 9:35 am – Have shifted my hopes from being pessimistically optimistic to being optimistically optimistic !

    But somewhere in that draw we will probably end up in Russia in winter !

  • GroovT

    I would like a big big group. With barcelona, shaktar and wolfsburg. Then we might be able to eradicate barcelona from the competition at the group stage.
    (They must have paid the referee for the red card of RvP)