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

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Burnley-Arsenal Preview

      The rhetoric around Arsenal Football Club would suggest that they are in crisis. Arsene Wenger's Gunners (13-5-3) sit fourth heading into this weekend's action, and in fine form after taking 10 points from their last four top-flight matches. A … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 minute 30 seconds ago
    • Balotelli kept quiet on return as Nice held 1-1 at Bastia

      Although Nice moved one point ahead of Monaco at the top of the league, prior to this weekend's matches, it was Nice's third straight league draw. Last weekend, it was held 0-0 at home by struggling Metz, with Balotelli suspended for that game. … More »

      AP - Sports - 3 minutes 33 seconds ago
    • West Ham signs defender Fonte from Southampton for $10m

      West Ham has signed defender Jose Fonte from Southampton for 8 million pounds (around $10 million). The 33-year-old Fonte, who won the European Championship last year with Portugal, has joined on a deal through June 2019, with the option of a … More »

      AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
    • Lewandowski's last-gasp goal earns Bayern 2-1 win at Freiburg

      Lewandowski's last-gasp goal earns Bayern 2-1 win at Freiburg

      Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat Freiburg 2-1 on Friday and open up a six point lead as the league resumed after the winter break. Lewandowski … More »

      Reuters - 17 minutes ago
    • Lewandowski's last-gasp goal earns Bayern 2-1 win at Freiburg

      Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat Freiburg 2-1 on Friday and open up a six point lead as the league resumed after the winter break. Lewandowski … More »

      Reuters - 24 minutes ago