For the 16th season in a row, Arsenal fans will be tuning in to the Champions League draw from around 4.30pm GMT – although by the time UEFA have aired their ego’s, it will be around 5.30pm before the balls are drawn. But who can Arsenal get?
Despite criticism, Arsenal deserve to be in Pot 1. Only 4 teams have made the Champions League final 16 in each of the last 5 years. Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Yes, we might not of won anything in 8 years, and our best performance in that period was a semi final. But it has taken Manchester United, Barcelona (twice), AC Milan and Bayern Munich to stop our progress. and 3 of the 5 times, our executioners have gone on to lift the trophy.
Being in Pot 1 means we avoid: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Porto & Benica
Pot 2, in recent years, has become a pot not to worry too much about. Filled more with average, consistent teams throughout Europe over the last 5 years, such as Schalke 04 & Marseille, then the top ’emerging’ teams in Europe such as Dortmund, Manchester City & Napoli. Whilst we wait for the latter teams to gain the coefficients to take their rightful place in Pot 2 (or Pot 1) we will continue to have lob sided draws. However, there is a couple of hand grenades in Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
Dream: Marseille or CSKA Moscow
Nightmare: PSG or Juventus
Best trip: Marseille in September? 25°C? Yes please!
Trip to avoid: CSKA Moscow in December
Whoever gets PSG or Juventus in Pot 2 will be dreading this pot. With Manchester City (Who we can not get), Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Leverkusen, Ajax and Galatasaray, there is plenty to be worried about. Expect for more teams from Pot 3 to make the last 16 then from Pot 2. Plenty of danger.
Dream: Olympiakos or Basel
Nightmare: Either German club
Best Trip: Borussia Dortmund – to experience that atmosphere
Trip to avoid: Galatasaray – no comment required
ABN. Anyone But Napoli. They are the threat. Anderlecht will take points off people, and Real Sociedad will be a threat at home, despite losing Asier Illarramendi to Real Madrid. Avoid Napoli and you should be alright.
Dream: Viktoria Plzeň
Best Trip: Austria Wien
Worst Trip: Napoli
Keenos’ Dream Draw: Arsenal, Marseille, Dortmund, Austria Wien
Keenos’ Nightmare Draw: Arsenal, PSG, Galatasaray, Napoli
Group of Death: Bayern Munich, PSG, Manchester City, Napoli