- Team news: Wenger’s update on Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud & Cazorla
- Preview: Arsenal v Boro, team news, line-up & prediction
- [Photos] Arsenal duo step-up injury comebacks in training today
- [Photos] Arsenal boost as injury doubt trains ahead of Boro game
- Arsene Wenger sets comeback date for forgotten Arsenal man
- Arsenal boss confirms fresh injury doubt for Middlesbrough game
- Team News: Arsene Wenger offers update on Ramsey & Giroud
- Arsenal boss confirms defender could leave in January
- 4-2-3-1 v Boro: Iwobi & Cazorla out? My Arsenal starting XI
- Arsenal boss confirms fresh injury concern + Sanchez update
Champs League Draw: See What Pot Arsenal Are In & Possible Opponents
We’re in the hat for Thursday’s Champions League group stage draw for the 16th consecutive season.
While we’ve only really threatened to win the competition once, reaching the final in 2006, our consistency of reaching the group stages and more often than not the knockout stages means our coefficient rating ensures we’re still seeded as one of the top 8 teams and are therefore in Pot 1.
This is crucial as we will avoid playing the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the group stages. We save playing them until the first knockout stage, more often than not.
However, Pot2 does include several big teams like Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and PSG. Any of these would prove to be tough opposition and are ones we want to avoid in the draw.
Of the Pot 3 teams Borussia Dortmund – last years losing finalists – are obviously the team to look out for. We do NOT want to be selected in the same group as the Germans. Other teams we’d rather avoid are the dangerous Zenit St Petersburg and Galatasaray.
Pot 4 also has a few teams we’d prefer not to play against at such an early stage, namely Napoli, Celtic and Real Sociedad.
Here are all the teams in each of the four pots:
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, FC Porto, Benfica.
Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus.
Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, FC Basel, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Bayer Leverkusen.
FC Copenhagen, Napoli, Anderlecht, Celtic, Steaua Bucharest, Plzen, Real Sociedad, Austria Vienna.
It’s the strongest selection of 32 teams I’ve seen in years so there are guaranteed to be some tasty groups. Of course we can’t meet any other English team at this stage, so we won’t be paired with Manchester City who are in pot 3.
My ideal draw would be a group consisting of: Marseille, FC Basel and Viktoria Plzen.
Group of death
The worst case scenario could see us paired with: PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.
The draw takes place from 4.30pm (UK time) on Thursday afternoon, fingers crossed we get lucky. We’ll have full details of who we get shortly after the draw.
What be your ideal group and group of death?