Pots and seedings for 2015/16 Champions League Group Stage draw confirmed
With the UEFA Champions League playoffs to decide the final 32 teams now complete, all that is left is the draw for the Group stage matches. The new format in the 2015/16 season will see seven league champions and the defending champions in Pot 1. And the final seedings and pots were confirmed by UEFA ahead of the draw which will be held today (27 August).
Of the 32 teams, 22 qualified automatically after finishing in the top positions of their respective leagues while 10 teams had to qualify through the playoffs. Teams are divided into four pots with eight teams each.
Since Barcelona won La Liga and the Champions League, Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven were promoted to Pot 1 along with Premier League champions Chelsea, Serie A champions and last season’s runners-up Juventus, Ligue 1 champions PSG, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Portuguese Primeira Liga champions Benfica and Russian Premier League champions Zenit St. Petersburg.
Teams were placed in the other pots based on their UEFA coefficients which are caluclated based on their performances in the competition over the last five years. Three Premier League clubs make it to Pot 2 – Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, as do three La Liga clubs – Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. Spain have five teams in the group stages after Valencia eliminated Monaco in the playoffs and Sevilla won the Europa League. But Sevilla will be in Pot 3.
How teams are picked into groups
Groups will be made with one team picked from each pot – four teams in a group. According to the rules, no club will play a team from the same association. For example: Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid or Valenica and Sevilla will not be in the same group. Similarly, Chelsea will not draw Arsenal, Manchester United or Manchester City in the same group.
Because of the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, clubs from the two countries will not be drawn in the same group. So Zenit St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow will not face Shakhtar Donetsk or Dynamo Kyiv.
The same draw will also apply to teams playing in the UEFA Youth League.
Champions League pots for 2015/16 Group Stage
|POT 1||POT 2||POT 3||POT 4|
|Barcelona||Real Madrid||Shakhtar Donetsk||BATE Borisov|
|Chelsea||Atletico Madrid||Sevilla||Borussia M'Gladbach|
|Bayern Munich||FC Porto||Olympique Lyon||Wolfsburg|
|Juventus||Arsenal||Dynamo Kyiv||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Benfica||Manchester United||Olympiacos||Maccabi Tel-Aviv|
|Paris Saint-Germain||Valencia||CSKA Moscow||Gent|
|Zenit Saint Petersburg||Bayer Leverkusen||Galatasaray||Malmo FF|
|PSV Eindhoven||Manchester City||AS Roma||FC Astana|
UEFA Best Player in Europe award to be presented
The award for the Best Player in Europe in 2014/15 will also be presented at the same ceremony tonight. The panelists will vote at the venue and the votes will be tallied immediately to declare the winner. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo were announced as the final three nominees earlier this month.