Atlético await Champions League group stage draw

No longer amongst the top seeds, Atleti could face tough schedule

Atlético waiting to find out opponents for group stage

Atlético waiting to find out opponents for group stage

Europe’s attention will be drawn to Monaco on Thursday evening as the UEFA holds the group stage draw for this season’s Champions League.

The event gets underway at 5.45pm CEST.

Atlético Madrid are one of 32 teams waiting to find out the three opponents they will face at home and away over the coming months. As always, some teams will have tougher draws than others.

A change to the seeding format sees Atlético slip to pot two, potentially pitting them against one of Europe’s giants from pot one.

Under the changes, the first pot is comprised entirely of the holders and the champions of each of the top associations. (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia.)

As Barcelona are the current holders, the eighth spot goes to the champions of Holland, PSV Eindhoven.

This structure can see Atlético Madrid drawn with any one of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Paris St Germain, Zenit St Petersburg, PSV Eindhoven or last season’s opponents, Juventus.

Another trip to Turin may go down well with Atlético, after the Italian champions have lost a number of key players since their run to the Champions League final last year.

Carlos Tevez has left for Boca Juniors, Arturo Vidal signed for Bayern Munich, whilst the legend that is Andrea Pirlo moved to the MLS.

Mario Mandzukic moved from Atleti to Juventus in the summer, but Atleti will feel they have a good chance to beat the Old Lady after four points from two games against them last year.

The two teams to avoid for los Rojiblanos will be Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Both strengthened massively through this summer’s transfer window, and being drawn against either will be a tough test for Atleti.

The odds of Atleti drawing are almost half what they should be, due to the presence of three English clubs in pot two. You can’t be drawn against a team from your own association, so the choices for Chelsea are either Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid, Porto, Valencia or Atlético.

A team each from pot three and four will round out the group. Interestingly, the presence of Olympiacos and Malmo in three and four respectively could mean an exact repeat of last season’s draw for Atleti.

One that Atlético might be happy with (despite another away trip to Malmo).

Testing draws for Atleti from pot three would include Roma, Galatasary and CSKA Moscow, whilst pot four contains teams including Wolfsburg, newcomers Gent and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

What is your dream draw? Who are your teams to avoid?

Pot One
Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea , Juventus, Paris St. Germain, Zenit, PSV Eindhoven

Pot Two
Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City, Manchester United , Real Madrid, Porto, Valencia

Pot Three
CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Kiev, Lyon, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla

Pot Four
Astana, BATE Borisov, Borussia Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Gent, Malmo

  • Lubo

    Chelsea, Lyon, Dinamo.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    First, let me once again show my outrage about this stupid new system of seeding, Mr. Platini just can’t stop making changes, I’ll admit that some of them were good, but others were only introduced to make many associations happy and secure their votes in any upcoming elections, in UEFA or even in FIFA .
    They based pot 1 upon the ranking at the end of last season, and back then, Netherlands (or maybe more precisely, Eredivisie) was 8th, but now the 8th is Ukraine, and if they stayed at that position until the end of the season, the champions of Ukrainian league could be in pot 1 next season, with all due respect to Ukraine .

    Second, despite that, I don’t see a possible group of death, maybe because Man City are in Pot 2 this time, not Pot 3 .
    There are two tough German sides in pot 4, but who gets one of them won’t get Bayern, and vice versa .
    But there could be some tough groups though, for us -remember again that two teams from same country can’t be in the same group- it will be getting Roma from Pot 3 and one of the Germans from Pot 4 with Chelsea or PSG or from Pot 1, I think that’s the toughest possibility .. nothing we can’t handle .

  • Ringo

    I don’t know if I prefer easy or exciting.
    Like Ahmad said, even with the toughest possible drawing, we should go through.

    Of course there’s the “bad day” or bad form factor, and some teams could surprise by being of a higher level than they used to be. In the end, though, a second place finish is the least Atleti should be capable of.
    But we’ll see how the team progresses first.

  • pahas

    galatasaray or roma
    Borussia monchenglandbach

  • I wouldn’t mind a trip to Paris!