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Arsenal earn place among top seeds
Published : 25 Aug 2011 10:00:14
Arsenal will join the top seeds in the Champions League draw following their victory over Udinese but Manchester City are likely to be handed a tough introduction to life in Europe's elite club competition.
Roberto Mancini's side are set to be among the group of third seeds in the draw in Monaco - meaning the strongest sides in Europe outside of England are all potential opponents.
The worst-case scenario for City would be to be drawn into a group with reigning champions Barcelona and a tough second seed such as AC Milan or Lyon.
At least the danger of all the English clubs drawing Borussia Dortmund as the fourth seed has been removed - the withdrawal of Fenerbahce by the Turkish federation due to an ongoing match-fixing organisation means the Germans move up to third seeds. Turkish league runners-up Trabzonspor replace Fenerbahce - but they are among the fourth seeds.
For most of Europe it will be Manchester City who are the team to avoid, such is the size and strength of the squad that Mancini has assembled at vast expense.
Likely pots for the Champions League draw: Pot one: Man Utd, Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Inter Milan.
Pot two: Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Villarreal, AC Milan, Valencia, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Benfica.
Pot three: Zenit St Petersburg, Man City, Olympiakos, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Basle, Lille, Borussia Dortmund.
Pot four: BATE, Dinamo Zagreb, Napoli, APOEL, Genk, Trabzonspor, Otelul Galati, Viktoria Plzen.