City could get AC Milan and Barcelona
Arsenal will be among the top seeds in the Champions League draw following their victory over Udinese but new-boys Manchester City are likely to face a tough debut in the competition.
• Bayern, Villarreal through
• Champions League gallery • The Champions League group stage draw takes place at 1645 BST, and ESPNsoccernet will be providing live coverage Roberto Mancini's side have been placed amongst the third seeds for Thursday group stage draw (1645 BST) and could face the champions of Spain, Italy and Germany. City would end up taking on Barcelona, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund in the worst-case scenario. And even though they have shelled out £75 million this summer, with Samir Nasri the latest arrival on Wednesday, City would face a tough ask to clamber out of such a fearsome group. But should the draw be kinder, they could find themselves pitted against Porto, CSKA Moscow and Romanian side Otelul Galati. The other English teams involved - Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United - are all in the top tier of the seedings, putting them in pole position to secure a simpler route through to the knockout stages. UEFA's rules for the draw will see the 32 qualified teams allocated into eight groups of four teams. Each group will contain a top seed, plus one club each from the second, third and fourth pots. Each pot is determined by a club's UEFA ranking and the top two in each group will go through to the knock-out phase of the Champions League, and the third-place side to the knock-out phase of the Europa League.
Champions League draw seedings
• Pot one: Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Porto, Inter Milan
• Pot two: Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Villarreal, AC Milan, Valencia, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Benfica
• Pot three: Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Basle, Lille, BATE
• Pot four: Napoli, Genk, Borussia Dortmund, Trabzonspor, Dinamo Zagreb, APOEL, Otelul Galati, Viktoria Pizen