European sides await fate in Champions League playoff draw

Goal.com
The UEFA Champions League playoff draw will be decided on Friday, and it promises to produce some intriguing ties.

Arguably, some of the strongest teams in the hat are actually unseeded, and did not qualify for the competition as league champions. The likes of Malaga (though struggling financially), Borussia Monchengladbach, Udinese, Lille and Fenerbahce are not seeded and are included in the 'League Route', in which teams qualified for the draw through final positions in their respective divisions.

The seeded teams that make up that half of the draw are Sporting Braga, Dynamo Kiev, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen and Spartak Moscow.

Each of the unseeded teams will be drawn against one of the five seeded sides, and it is fair to say that almost any combination of fixtures would prove difficult and fascinating in equal measure, though a potential meeting between Malaga and former Valencia boss Unai Emery's Spartak would provide somewhat of a La Liga rematch.

It is the same process for the 'Champions Route', although, on paper, this section of the draw actually looks weaker than the League Route.

The seeded teams are Basel, Anderlecht, Celtic, BATE and Dinamo Zagreb. The unseeded teams are Cluj, Helsingborgs, Maribor, Limassol and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.

Basel, of course, upset Manchester United in last season's competition, but was eventually humbled by Bayern Munich. Anderlecht defeated Ekranas 11-0 on aggregate to make it this far.

The first legs will take place across Aug. 21 and 22, and the ties will be concluded on Aug. 28 and 29. The 10 losers will enter the group stage of the 2012-13 Europa League.

Champions Route
Seeded Unseeded
Basel Cluj
Anderlecht Helsingborgs
Celtic Maribor
BATE Limassol
Dinamo Zagreb Hapoel
League Route
Seeded Unseeded
Sporting Braga* Fenerbahce
Dynamo Kiev Udinese*
Panathinaikos Lille*
Copenhagen Malaga*
Spartak Moscow* Monchengladbach*
* Denotes teams who entered at the playoff stage

Follow GOAL.COM USA on Twitter

View Comments (0)
  • New FIFA official Fatma Samoura arrives in Zurich

    ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA's new top administrator, United Nations official Fatma Samoura, has met staff in Zurich for the first time and will start work on June 20. … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • AFC Wimbledon continues remarkable rise up English leagues

    AFC Wimbledon continues remarkable rise up English leagues

    AFC Wimbledon, an English soccer club created in 2002 by disgruntled supporters after their original team was controversially relocated and rebranded, continued its rise up the league pyramid by getting promoted to the third division on Monday. The … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Juanfran thanks Atletico fans after shootout miss

    Juanfran thanks Atletico fans after shootout miss

    Atletico Madrid right back Juanfran has thanked fans for the support he received following his penalty shootout miss in Saturday's Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid. The defender's effort rebounded off the post before Cristiano Ronaldo … More »

    Reuters - 46 minutes ago
  • Pirlo says no hard feelings over Euro omission

    Pirlo says no hard feelings over Euro omission

    Andrea Pirlo says he has no hard feelings towards Italy coach Antonio Conte after the veteran playmaker was overlooked for next month's European Championship in France. The 37-year-old midfielder, who plays for Major League Soccer (MLS) club New … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 53 minutes ago
  • Cricket-England captain Alastair Cook

    Factbox on England captain Alastair Cook, who became the first English batsman to score 10,000 runs in test matches in the second test against Sri Lanka on Monday. *Scored an unbeaten 104 on test debut against India at Nagpur in 2006, and made his … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 59 minutes ago