Champions League Draw as it happened
with Declan Whooley
Well that is the draw over and done with, thanks for joining us at JOE and we look forward to the group stages that start in just three weeks.
Chelsea will face debutants Nordsjaelland, Juventus and Shakhtar and could not have expected any better than that. Though a trip to Donetsk has caused many teams to come unstuck
Arsene Wenger too will be relatively confident, though he will be sick of the sight of Olympiakos whom they have played in three of the last four years. Schalke and Olympiakos make up the rest of Group B
Man. Utd can be pleased with being paired with Braga, Galatasaray and and Cluz. Then again they were confident with last season's 'weak' group and ended up in the Europa League, so lessons should have been taken. Privately fergie will be happy with his lot.
Well that has drawn up some interesting groups.
If City couldnt get out of last year's group, then they will really have to pull up their socks for Group D. They will join fellow league champions in Real Madrid, Ajax and Dortmund. Ajax put United out of the Europa League last year and can look forward to another trip to Manchester
That leaves BORUSSIA DORTMUND to complete the group of death in GROUP D - Madrid, Ajax, City and Dortmund. What games to expect there!
Romanian side CLUJ are placed in GROUP H with Man. Utd, Galatasaray and Braga
MALAGA are in GROUP C wit AC, Zenit and Anderlecht
BATE BORISOV will go into GROUP F with Bayern, Valencia and Lille
NORDJAELLAND, first-timers, are with Chelsea, Shakhtar and Juventus in GROUP E
MONTPELLIER, French champs go into GROUP B with Arsenal, Schalke and Olympiakos. Arsene should be pleased with that
DINAMO are in GROUP A along with Porto, PSG and Dinamo Kyiv
DINAMO ZAGREB up next
CELTIC are pitted in GROUP G.......Barca, Benfica and Spartak
So here ....we go
Fabio Cannavaro is the man to draw the teams from Pot 4. Looking as immaculate as you would expect from an Italian. Pity he has no English. Delaying the procedure a bit.....oh wait, they cut him short, great shout
Last side out of pot three is SPARTAK MOSCOW, and they are in GROUP G with Barcelona and Benfica
Italian champions JUVENTUS have been pitted in GROUP E alongside Chelsea and Shahktar Donetsk
AJAX, four-time winners will go into GROUP D with Real Madrid and Manchester City. The Dutch will be delighted with that draw
The French side go into GROUP A with Porto and Dinamo Kyiv
Big spenders PSG are the next side out
ANDERLECHT, semi-finalists in 82 and 86, will go into GROUP C with AC Milan and Zenit
Greek side OLYMPIAKOS, quarter-finalists in 1999 go into GROUP B with Arsenal and Schalke
LILLE are next out, they go into GROUP F with Bayern and Valencia
They will go into GROUP H with Manchester United and Braga
GALATASARAY are the first team out of pot three
Ruud Gullit is up next to draw the teams from Pot 3, with Juventus the big hitter
Porto-Kyiv may not be the most riveting......we'll see what happens next
Manchester United will hope to have learned from last year's mistake of underestimating Portuguese opposition, while Arsenal will face a challenge from Schalke
Some interesting ties already, so far GROUP D is looking liely to be the Group of Death
DINAMO KYIV are drawn into GROUP A along with Portuguese giants PORTO
ZENIT ST PETERSBURG are drawn into GROUP C with AC MILAN
MANCHESTER CITY have been drawn in GROUP D. They are in with REAL MADRID. Mouthwatering
They will go into ARSENAL's GROUP B
SCHALKE are the next team out of pot two
Portuguese side FC BRAGA, after a dramtic penalty shoot-out win over Udinese will go into GROUP H with Manchester United.
George reveals BENFICA are the next team, and they will go into GROUP G with Barcelona. An Iberian derby
VALENCIA are out next and they will join BAYERN MUNICH in GROUP F. They met in the 2001 decider
The guys on stage are telling us they are sweating. Lovely
First team out of pot two is Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukraine. They will go into GROUP E with Chelsea.
Next up is the second pot featuring Manchester City, who will they get?
George Weah is now on stage telling us about coming to Europe and playing in the Champions League. Some player. Singling out Arsene Wenger for a lot of praise.
Great tweet from freelance Irish sports journalist Ewan McKenna on the draw, which reads: “Sums up ridiculous #ChampionsLeague draw when camera zooms in on manager to get reaction to being placed in group with no other teams yet!” Hard to argue his point in fairness
ARSENAL the last team out go into GROUP H
MANCHESTER UNITED, three times winner, go into GROUP F
Defending champions CHELSEA go into GROUP E
Italian side AC MILAN go into GROUP A
FC PORTO are out next, the 1987 winners. They will go into GROUP A
BARCELONA are the next side drawn out and will go into GROUP G
BAYERN MUNICH are the next team out and they go into GROUP F
the lads seem a little confused, but the Spanish kingpins go into GROUP D
First team out of the draw are REAL MADRID, the record holders
Here we go.........
Ray Wilkins asked for his winners just before the draw 'Chelsea'. Big surprise there
Looks like were finally getting down to the nitty gritty, we can only imagine the excitement in Denmark for Nordsjaelland with the prospect of drawing some of the European big guns
Not much between Real Madrid, Man Utd and Barcelona in terms of victories. Madrid are top with 99 wins, one ahead of United who are in turn one ahead of Barca
Steve McManaman telling the Monaco audience in that distinct Scouse twang of his Champions League memories. He cant take his eyes off the host.
Joleon Lescott is tweeting on Twitter he is putting his feet up after training to watch the draw. he will surely hope to avoid a group with Barca/Madrid, Juventus and Dortmund
Ray Wilkins is telling us all about the 'top players' that will be playing the Champions League, while an attractive female is telling us the format of the draw.
Still waiting for the draw to take place......going through the rules and regulations in Monaco.
Come on already!
Ajax will not be too disappointed should they fail to qualify for the knock-out stages as long as they finish third. The Europa league final is on in the Amsterdam Arena next year
As you would expect, Sky Sports News is getting very excited. lets hope not too excited, Jamie is wearing his typically snug pants.
Could the man be anymore positive/uncontroversial?
'Its going to be hard to retain the Champions League for Chelsea'. Really Jamie? Beating the likes of Madrid, Barc and Bayern won't be easy?
Looks like all the clubs fat cats are out in force in Monaco. Everyone looks in good spirits. Have to be seen to be all chummy I suppose.
I wonder how happy they will be if handed a nightmare group
For all those trivia enthusiasts, Shakhtar Donetsk qualified for the tournament for the first time in 2000, and have done so every season since
Anderlecht are appearing for the first time in five years, and this is Braga's second ever appearance at this stage
To date 127 clubs have made the group stages in 21 years. And if you believe Julio Cesar QPR will add to that figure in the near future
So many top quality players that have yet to win a Champions League medal.......Ozil, Van Persie, Hazard, Ribery to name just a few. Must be even more galling when you consider Djimi Traore and David May have graced the winners podium.
Sometimes there really is just no justice in the world
Speaking of Spartak Moscow, home of course to our very own Aiden McGeady (earning €100,000 a week if you believe reports in todays paper), their coach Unai Emey was coach of Valencia as they finished third in La Liga last season, and could face his former team in the draw
Less than twenty minutes to go and the road to Wembley really starts here today.
Were Zenit St.Petersburg make it that far (a long shot admitedly), they would be a little weary. They won the Russian league after an 18 month long season. The league was changed from a calender season to a summer season and hence the extension. Spartak Moscow could well feel fatigued as the season wears on
Very good point made about our Danish debutants on Twitter. Pointing out that Andy Carroll has said he would only leave Liverpool for a bigger club, one tweet suggests Nordsjaelland should make a bid. Good point
Just a bit of housekeeping, the picture of John terry has not being photoshopped. The genuine article.
Speaking of Terry, who will follow in his footsteps and get their hands on the trophy. And not in a David May sceanario, genuinely hold the trophy aloft as a proud captain. Can Terry repeat the feat?
Three teams are at the group stages for the first time.
Montpellier will be the tenth team to represent France, only Spain have a better record.
Speaking of Spain, Malaga will make their debut in the group stages, as will Danish side Nordsjaelland. While Malaga and Montpellier should hold their own, you would have to fear for the Danish side. Could well be the whipping boys of Europe
Celtic are back in the big-time again though if their away record was pretty horrendous when they had a decent team, its hard to see them improving on that with the squad Neil Lennon has at his disposal.
A group with Porto, Braga and Lille would be the best case scenario.
Borussia Dortmund will be the team to avoid in pot four. Amazingly the German champions are in pot one, while Portuguese champions Porto are dining at the top table.
Also in pot four are Dinamo Zagreb who will be hoping for an improvement on last season's horror show. They finished bottom of the table without a single point and lost 8-1 at home to Lyon. To quote a catchy song, the only was is up
With the UEFA seedings, it is possible that the winners of Spain, England, Italy and Germany all end up in one group which would really be something else.
Man City are in the second pot due to their low European ranking and will be the team everyone will want to avoid. Possibly not Bayern, who did teach them quite a lesson in the Allianz Arena last season. Remember that match Carlos Tevez?
There are a number of rules to the draw. 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4 and sides from the same country cannot face eachother during the group stage.
Each team will play three games on Tuesdays and three on Wednesdays, while clubs from a Nordic country, Russia and Belarus will play their final games away in December because of their severe winter.
And so to the pots. UEFA have seeded the first two pots, while last nights play-off winners are placed in pots three and four
POT ONE: Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan
POT TWO: Valencia, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg, Schalke, Manchester City, Braga, Dynamo Kiev
POT THREE: Olympiakos, Ajax, Anderlecht, Juventus, Spartak Moscow, Paris Saint-Germain, Lille, Galatasaray
POT FOUR: Celtic, Borussia Dortmund, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, Cluj, Malaga, Montpellier, Nordsjaelland
Afternoon folks and welcome to our live Champions League draw blog which is taking place in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. While we would love to be in the Principality ourselves, the powers that be deem a blog from afar will suffice.
The draw will take place at 4.45pm but we will be bringing you up to speed with the format and the pots along the way.
Will Man. Utd get their token soft group? Will Man. City get Russian opposition that could have serious repercussions for Mario Balotelli and his allergies? Who will new boys Montpellier, Nordsjaelland and Malaga draw?
All will be revealed within the next hour. We will keep you bang up to date