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City could face horror repeat

28 Aug 2013 19:47:48

City could face horror repeat

Manchester City could face a repeat of last year's Champions League horror draw when the groups for this season are selected.

Twelve months ago, City's low seeding saw the club end up in a group with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, then the champions of Spain, Germany and Holland respectively.

That contributed to a failure to make the knock-out stages - and possibly to the departure of Roberto Mancini as manager.

Another effect of that failure is that City's co-efficient continues to be low compared to the other English teams in the competition, and raises the prospect of another 'group of death'.

UEFA calculates clubs' co-efficient based on their results in Europe over the last five years and rewards consistency, and also takes into account the national team's co-efficient.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea will all be among the eight top seeds but it is almost certain that City will be one of the eight clubs in the pot of third seeds.

That leaves Manuel Pellegrini's side open to being drawn with holders Bayern Munich or Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The worst-case scenario would see City in a group with Bayern, now managed by Pep Guardiola, plus big-spending French champions Paris St-Germain - who will be second seeds - and Napoli, the Italian club now managed by Rafa Benitez.

Napoli are expected to be among the fourth seeds, and are the club to avoid from that pot as Benitez has former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain among his new recruits.

The draw in Monaco will see 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four. Each group will be made up of one club from the pot of top seeds, one from the group of second seeds, one from the third seeds and one from the fourth seeds.


PA

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