Manchester City face the possibility of being placed in the same group as Real Madrid, Juventus and Borussia Dortmond when the draw for the Champions League takes place in Monaco this afternoon.
UEFA’s complicated seeding system, based on the club’s co-efficients, has thrown up the possibility of the champions of the four strongest nations – England, Spain, Italy and Germany – all having to play each other in the group phase.
City will be the only English club not among the top seeds for tomorrow’s draw – despite being domestic champions, Roberto Mancini’s side still have a relatively low UEFA co-efficient, meaning they will be among the pot of eight second seeds while European champions Chelsea, and the Blue’s Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United are in the pot of eight top seeds.
Mega-rich City are no strangers to tough groups in the Champions League, and suffered from being ranked as third seeds last season when they ended up third in a group containing Bayern, Napoli and Villarreal.
None of the Premier League sides can be drawn in a group with another English club, but there could be British opposition if any of them are drawn in a group with Celtic, who qualified after a 4-0 win over Swedish side Helsingborg last night.
Mancunian Matters will have full details and reaction from this afternoon’s draw, which is due to take place from 4.45pm.