Europe’s elite clubs are anxiously awaiting tomorrow’s draw for the 2011/12 Champions League group stage.
The Premier League will be represented by Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, with Arsenal set to join them should they successfully defend their 1-0 home leg win against Udinese in their play-off second leg this evening in Italy.
United have reached the final of the competition for three of the past four years and will be keen to close the gap on Spanish giants Barcelona, who defeated the Reds 3-1 in May’s Wembley final.
Neighbours Manchester City are set to be among the group of third seeds, meaning the strongest sides in Europe, apart from their English counterparts, are all potential opponents. Roberto Mancini will no doubt be crossing his fingers that he avoids drawing the likes of Spanish giants Barcelona, Real Madrid or Italian Serie A Champions AC Milan.
Pot one: Barcelona Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Porto, Inter Milan, Arsenal*
Pot two: Shakhtar Donetsk, Villarreal, AC Milan, Valencia, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Benfica*, Lyon*.
Pot three: Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Fenerbahce, Lille, Basle.
Pot four: Borussia Dortmund, Dinamo Zagreb, Napoli, APOEL, Genk, Otelul Galati, Viktoria Plzen*, BATE*.
*If they qualify tonight.
The draw is expected to take place at around 17.45 CET live from Monaco and SportsNewsIreland will have live text commentary from the draw.