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October 2016
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Champions League draw: who can we play

By Walter Broeckx

So here we are again. The start of the new Champions League or better said the start of the draw is upon us.

Who can we meet? Who will we meet? And who do you want us to meet?

As usual the teams are placed in different pots. A big change this time is that in Pot 1 where Arsenal has usually been we now only have the teams who won their league in the top 7 leagues in Europe.

POT 1: Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern, Juventus, Benfica, PSG, Zenit, PSV.

So in that pot we have Chelsea as the PL winner and who we cant play. Other teams in that pot are ranged from very difficult to very interesting.

The on paper easiest draw would be PSV. And that is my personal favourite from this group. Not because they are easy but because I live about 40 minutes away from their stadium and would be a nice place to go to. That is if Arsenal is given enough tickets and if they have enough and can give tickets to supporters clubs.

POT 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Porto, Arsenal, Man United, Valencia, Leverkusen, Man City.

As Arsenal is in this pot we will not play any of those teams in the group stages. Some real difficult teams in it. In fact I think this pot is as strong as pot 1. Maybe even stronger.

POT 3: Shakthar, Sevilla, Lyon, Dynamo Kiev, Olympiakos, CSKA Moscow, Galatasaray, Roma.

The pot with the teams one knows that can play a big disturbing role in order to get further. Lots of difficult teams in it and also the pot with the longest travel time with some Russian and Ukrainian teams. I don’t like playing Olympiacos again if possible. Galatasaray might be interesting as long as Poldi is not in top form. Sevilla and Roma are very tough opponents.

For me and again looking at not just the fact if it is winnable or not but Lyon looks the best option to draw from this group. Not really far away from London and oh I think we have played them recently and that went rather well. Not that this means anything when we would play them in the CL of course. We will start at 0-0 and I can imagine them being up for a revenge for that rather painful defeat at our ground.

POT 4: Bate Borisov, Borrusia Moenchen Gladbach, Wolfsburg, Dynamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Gent, Malmö, Astana.

Still a few big and possible difficult opponents in this pot. Like the German teams. A few teams who would make some long travelling and that is never a good thing as it takes away a lot of time and rest.

My favourite team from this pot has to be Gent of course. The Belgian champions are also rather close to my home and I hope that we would be able to get a few tickets for this match.

So my ideal group would be in order of the pots:

PSV, Arsenal, Lyon and Gent.

So now I have probably jinxed it and we will end up with Barcelona, Shakthar and Bate Borisov.

Finally, if we still had the old way on how to fill the pots by Uefa based on the club coefficients we would have been in pot 1. And then we would have been there with Real Madrid, Bayern, Barcelona, Chelsea, Atletico, Benfica, Arsenal and Juventus.

So that would have meant that from the teams who are now in pot 1 we would for certainly avoid Bayern, Barcelona, Benfica and Juventus. Now we will have the chance to be in the same group as they are.

But no need to look at that anymore. Things are what they are and we might end up with an difficult draw or we could end up with a rather easy draw also. The luck of the draw will decide a lot. One team that we will not play in the CL this season will be Borussia Dortmund as they are in the Europa League. A bit of a shame as it was always nice to go there. But then again it’s also nice to maybe go to some new places.

The draw takes place today at (local time) 17.45 in Monaco. We will of course be there (metaphorically at least) try to tell you something about the teams we will play when we get to know our opponents.

PS: I forgot to mention that teams from Russia and Ukraine are not allowed to play each other for the moment because of the tense situation between both countries. So if we would get Zenit from pot 1 we will not get a team from Ukraine so no Kiev of Shakthar then.


Untold Anniversaries

  • 27 August 1921: The Third Division North formed.  In the first minute on the first day of the first season ex Arsenal man Tommy Winship crossed for Darlington to score the first ever goal in the league.
  • 28 August 1993: Ian Wright’s single, “Do the Wright Thing” entered the charts!

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12 comments to Champions League draw: who can we play

  • Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan. It is 5600 km away and according to Google takes 63 hours to drive there, although that may not allow for bad traffic around the channel tunnel.

    It is located on the Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, with a population of 835,153 within the city, making it the second-largest city in Kazakhstan.

    The first Kazakh team in the Champions League.

    Just thought you might like to know in case you want to go for your hols. Or if we get drawn against them.

  • nicky

    For those (the majority) supporters of our great Club who will not be able to attend any of Arsenal’s CL matches, home or away, the TV coverage will only be broadcast by BT.
    Sky/ITV were outbid for the contract. 😉

  • Jayramfootball

    BT Sport. I wonder will Owen and Scholes actually raise any enthusiasm for the games?

  • TailGunner

    So no ITV match?

  • I want Arsenal to face Barcelona not because of revenge but to send warning to other big taems

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Good morning MR. Broeckx and to all Untolders. Well, our CL draw fate tonight is in the hands of Lady Luck. We as Arsenal supporters can’t influence the draw but can hope we get a fair draw. Fair in the sense to get the teams we considered we can beat home and away to progress to the knockout stage. In this believe, I like to see us paired as follows: Benfica, Arsenal, Lyon & Bate. How about that? I want to discus 2 transfer issues with the Boss on this forum. And I wouldn’t want him to dismiss them with a wave of the back of his hand, but consider them thoroughly. It has been rumoured in the football media that Chelsea are going to sell Victor Moses and John Mikel Obi. I am sure the Boss has also come across the rumours. But has he considered making a steal for those 2 quality Blues who Jose Mourinho wants to throw away? Let the Boss pick them up if Mourinho does that. Those 2 players still have tank of quality in them that will be very useful for the Gunners if the Boss signed them up, and on the cheap too. Obi will be that alternate DM to Coquelin and Flamini. Right? And of course Moses could be the solution to the lack of natural recognized right winger at Arsenal, can’t he? I hope the Boss has listened to me. He wouldn’t be spending huge sum of money anymore to bring in a player or 2 players if he signed those 2 who are of a good quality like those his likely to buy. I known a lot of Gooners and pundits may condem the move. But let the Boss be calmed and ignore any condemnation. When the good results for his action starts to turn out, they will praise him.

  • Menace

    Any team will be ok. The only handicap will be the officiating. We have generally had good officials but there is the rare ‘special one’ who gets promotion as reward.

    I still have to get my head round the appointment of the dildo bearing ‘more ons’ (goal line officials). I don’t know what they do or what their remit is. Walter, perhaps you ca shed some light on this.

  • TailGunner – no but ITV failed to show any Arsenal group games last year. So nothing new there. From the 6 alloted slots the showed 3 Liverpool, 2 City, 1 Chelsea, 0 Arsenal, I think. They showed the away game at in the last 16 at Monaco but only because they couldn’t find a way to avoid showing it.

  • proudkev

    BT is terrible for football coverage.Of all the broadcatsers, they really are the worst. Their punditry line up looks like a Liverpool Legends 11.

    It amazes me how North Western biased the media are when they select pundits. Is it any wonder we get such a hard and biased time from them.

    On BT we have had Owen (Liv & MU), Scholes (MU), James (LIV), McManaman (LIV), Hargreaves (MU)and Keane (MU). We have Keown every now and then. On Sky we have Carragher (Liv) and Neville (MU) giving their pre an post match anaylsis. Often aided by Rednapp (Liv) and Sounness (Liv). The commentator is normally Martyn Tyler, a Liverpool supporter! Alan Smith occassionally gets to co commentate but he is wetter than the Thames.

    Come to think of it, the majority of the match officials are from the North West too.

    Seems very strange how unbalanced this all is but it explains why we get such a rough ride, while Liverpool and Man Utd seem to get more gentle treatement when they fail.

  • WalterBroeckx

    In the practice draw earlier on we had this result it seems: Bayern, Arsenal, Roma and Malmö. A hell of a group I would say….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Walter – For me – PSV ( So you and your gang could watch it.) ; Olympiakos, ( they could use the money .) ; Astana( just our arse luck !).

  • Damilare

    A – PSG, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo.

    B – PSV, Man Utd, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg.

    C – Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana.

    D – Juventus, Man City, Sevilla, Mönchengladbach.

    E – Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Bate Borisov.

    F – Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb.

    G – Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev, M. Tel-Aviv.

    H – Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, Gent.