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.
|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:
|OTHERS THAT COULD QUALIFY IN PLACE OF TEAMS WITH *|
|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?