Champions League draw: who’s who, what’s what, when’s when (etc)

By Tony Attwood

Top of the list (at least in terms of Uefa co-efficient) of clubs that Arsenal can draw in the Champions League qualifier are Athletic Bilbao who are about to sign Arteta and Monreal – according to the Star, the Metro and the Express.

Athletic Club, generally known in England as Athletic Bilbao, and they play in Bilbao which has a certain logic to it.

They’ve won La Liga eight times, and never been out of the top division (the only club to claim this other than Barce Qatar and Real Mad.)

It is famous for playing Basque players from across their region of Spain and Navarre in France.   This summer they have sold Ander Herrera to Man U, and last season they finished fourth in the league.

The Daily Telegraph headline today is  “Arsenal fear facing Athletic Bilbao in Champions League play-off draw” but the subsequent articles gives no reason why and gives no back up to this wild claim.

Here’s their run-down.

  • 2013/14: fourth in Spanish Liga
  • Group stage campaigns: 1 (last appearance: 1998/99)
  • Last season: Did not compete
  • Best European Cup performance: quarter-finals (1956/57)

Lille Olympique Sporting Club also knownj as LOSC Lille play in, well, you guessed it.  They play in a new stadium, wonderfully named Grand Stade Lille Metropole.  Their manager is René Girard so when meeting him it is important to say “Allo Allo”.   In recent years we have signed from Lille…

8 July 2002: Pascal Cygan

11 July 2011: Gervinho

• 2013/14: third in Ligue 1
• Group stage campaigns: 5 (last appearance: 2012/13)
• Last season: Did not compete
• Best European Cup performances: round of 16 (2006/07)


Football Club Copenhagen, properly known as FCK (for F.C. København) is rated as the best club in Scandinavia by Uefa.   Arsenal’s connection with the city is that on 3 May 1965 John Jensen was born in Copenhagen and that on 4 May 1994 we won the Cup Winners’ Cup in the city.

• 2013/14: second in Danish Super League
• Group stage campaigns: 3 (last appearance: 2013/14)
• Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
• Best European Cup performance: round of 16 (2010/11)

Next in the list is Standard Liege – properly Royal Standard de Liège, another European team with a long service in the top national league – in their case since 1921, the longest in their country’s history.  In 1982 they played in the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

This is the team Walter want us to play, so he can trot down the road to the away game.

We have a bit of history with them…

  • 20 October 1993: Arsenal 3 Standard Liege 0 Cup Winners Cup 2nd round
  • 3 November 1993: Standard Liège 0 Arsenal 7 in Cup winners Cup.  Arsenal win 10-0, the highest aggregate ever achieved by Arsenal.

• 2013/14: second in Belgian First League
• Group stage campaigns: 1 (last appearance: 2009/10)
• Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
• Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (1961/62)

Finally there is Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü (Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club), another team who have never been relegated from the top division.  Last I heard they were having their ground rebuilt – not too sure where things stand on that.

• 2013/14: third in Turkish Super League
• Group stage campaigns: 5 (last appearance: 2009/10)
• Last season: UEFA Europa League play-offs
• Best European Cup performance: quarter-finals (1986/87)

Also in the draw are Porto, Zenit, Napoli and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, which for the clubs listed above (the ones that we might play) suggests playing against Arsenal or any of them makes a fairly formidable bunch.

There is also a second draw happening for the Champions League known as the “Champions Route”.

As with the section Arsenal are in there is a seeded group each of whom are drawn against an unseeded team,.

Seeded: FC Salzburg, FC Steaua Bucureşti, APOEL FC, FC BATE Borisov, PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 

Unseeded: NK Maribor, Legia Warszawa, ŠK Slovan Bratislava, Malmö FF, Aalborg BK.

The draw is, I believe, at 11am BST.  But its a Uefa thing, so you might have to wait until tomorrow.

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25 Replies to “Champions League draw: who’s who, what’s what, when’s when (etc)”

  1. Standard is also the place where I did my first European and CL match with Arsenal. In 2009 we were 2-0 down after hardly 5 minutes but we came back to win 2-3 with Nicklas Bendtner one of the scorers…

  2. breaking news, Legia Warsaw might be thrown out for fielding an ineligible (or possibly, like our very Polish goalie, illegible) player, so Celtic might be allowed back in. Not that we could draw them anyway

  3. Are the Arsenal the club that plays the most number of games in the Champions League play-off stage?

  4. @ Hisham. No. However provided we win through to the next round its good economics to have to plyy in this round as it means profit from an extra game.

    I am not sure on this but this game may count as one of the seven free cup tickets you get when buying a season ticket.

  5. think we will be ok, but used to getting the worst possible draw in this competition

  6. @ Mandy

    It seems the draw has been made already and you have Besitkas. First game in Turkey

    Not easy but you should be ok

  7. Tricky Mike T, will get a hostile atmosphere, but agree, should come through that.

  8. This is the 2nd or 3rd worst opponent we could get. I was hoping for Copenhagen or Standard Liege, these are weak teams and not very far travel distance. Now we have to go to turkey and then go away to Everton days later, gonna be tough… Why couldnt we hold on to 3rd… 🙂

  9. The only 2 teams that would have realistic chances on a good day to beat us i think would have been Atletic Club or Lille. Remember the 5-2 in turkey last time ? Shouldnt be that bad, hadnt it been for the traveling it would be very positive.

  10. off topicbut breaking news, looks like Tommy off to Barca

    If true, good luck to him, always liked him, and seems to have a great attitude. But get a very uneasy feeling about losing such a quality player- when Kos and Per have played so many games last year, wish we had rotated him a bit more and could have kept him. A replacement will not be easy, After all, if he is good enough for Barca….

  11. Hmm, I see that Demba Ba scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 qualifying victory over Feyenoord. Lets hope he doenst do a “Drogba” against us.

  12. @ Mandy Dodd,

    I agree with your view on Vermaelen, he has a great attitude and I wish him well if and when he moves to Barcelona.

    However, in terms of him being rotated a bit more last season, the fact is that even if Arsene had wanted to do that, Vermaelen was often not available for selection simply because he had a number of spells out injured.

  13. I am struggling with Beşiktaş stadium details. The old stadium is shown as having been closed down on Wiki, and the new one is not ready to be opened until October.

    Of course the sources could be quite wrong, but I wouldn’t say at once we are off to one of those places in Turkey where all hell is let loose.

    Celtic are back in the competition, but the Polish club look likely to appeal on the grounds that the punishment of exclusion is disproportionate to the size of the error.

  14. True Magneto, hope the Spanish sunshine helps nurse him back to health. He deserves a break, except when we draw them, Real or Bayern at the fist available opportunity in the CL…as we tend to with the top teams.
    Guess we will have a big German captain? Or a Welsh captain…or a Spanish capt?

    As for Besiktas, lets hope our new fitness guru gets them in prime shape and quickly….a difficult start to the season with some who have played a lot over the summer.

  15. Hopefully a Big German Captain with an able Welsh Lieutenant .
    The little Spaniard has never let us down but may not be on the pitch as often as in the past (gracias amigo).

  16. I just read about Vermaelen. He has been a class act during his time with injuries and not playing despite being club captain, hope he agrees terms and moves to Barcelona as I just could not bear him going to Man Utd.
    All the best Tommy V!

    New captain – well Arteta is vice-captain, but he is getting old.
    In terms of gravitas has to be BFG. Cannot choose Ramsey – even though he is an exceptional player, not when Per is there. I would be highly surprised if it was someone other than Per (unless its Arteta) – unless the BFG himself turns it down. But he was captain of his club in Germany (if I remember correctly), so I do not think he will turn it down.

  17. Sorry to see the Verminator go, but good luck to him, lets hope we can find a quality replacement.

    Re Besiktas; the traveling is not good, they will be very physical – just how physical will depend on how visually challenged the ref is – and we will have to face a physical Everton (who can play like Stoke when they want) a few days later – a tough few days but we should conquer.

  18. @Mandy Dodd
    August 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Inspired by your link.

    ‘Hi Webby. It’s Mikey here. Howard you to day?

    ‘Is that Rilly you Mikey?

    ‘Sure thing Webby. Why do you ask?’

    ‘No offence boss but you can’t be too sure of what hear or for that matter what you see these days’.

    ‘Strange you should say that Webby, becausse that is what I am calling you about.

    ‘Oh yes boss’. Said with the sound of doubt in his voice.

    ‘Well Webby you know we refs always get the decision right first time and the cameras and their obnoxious replays always tell a lie and those idiots who call themselves ‘supporters’ always believe the camera replays.’

    ‘Yes boss.’

    ‘Well I have been thinking, its time we stood up for ourselves and you Webby are the man to do it.’

    ‘Yes boss.’

    ‘What I want you do to do is to retire!’ (Webby drops his phone so doesn’t hear Mikey’s next bit first time.

    Not being able to see Webby drop his phone Really Micky continues.

    ‘Don’t worry you get your £50 000 silence hand shake and we give you a great job your goonner like this one.

    You watch the game on TV. then you go on TV and explain our — no I mean the decisions that no one understands. You will be our lead in ‘referee openess’. You are answer to all this nonsense about technology’.

    We pay you a great salary just for watching TV. (no more exhausting yourself running up and down the pitch surroundered by a bunch of mindless idiots) and explain why we are right and technology is wrong.

    In addition to all that your name will be in the media almost everyday, you will be one of the most famous people in the country.’
    What say you Webby?’

    ‘Thanks boss you really are a true boss.’

    ‘Well Webby I can see the headlines now.
    ‘Howard’s really Mike’s man’. I’ll email you the details. Bye for now.’

  19. Request:
    If someone has the time it would be most instructive to keep a watch on Webb’s consistency of justification of decisions. I fully expect him to apply the most Byzantine and Jesuitical logic in his weekly explanations ensuring that he backs up the referees utter lack of consistency in applying the rules depending upon the teams involved.

  20. Sad to see TV leave for Barkalonea .But then again ,they are the ‘elephant ‘s graveyard for our unwanted captains and other want away players! Sadder still that Nani won’t be joining us! Like most of the experts,I thought it was a done deal! Damn ! More ammunition for the AAAA !

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