2014 UEFA Champions League: What to Know

It’s that time again…


Leg 1 of the UEFA Champions League has concluded and we are one week away from finding out who will round out the 32 team field for the Champions League Group Stage. The draw will be next Thursday and 32 Flags will be here to live tweet the draw @32flags in case you don’t have Fox Soccer Plus or are at work. Here is what you need to know so far.

While these teams all have to play the 2nd leg next week, here are the 1st leg results.

Maribor (SLO) 1-1 Celtic (SCO)
Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) 2-1 Malmo FF (SWE)
Aalborg BK (DEN) 1-1 APOEL (CYP)
Steaua Bucuresti (ROM) 1-0 Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)
Slovan Bratislava (SLO) 1-1 BATE Borisov (BLR)
Besiktas (TUR) 0-0 Arsenal (ENG)
Standard Liege (BEL) 0-1 Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Copenhagen (DEN) 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Lille (FRA) 0-1 Porto (POR)
Napoli (ITA) 1-1 Athletic Bilbao (ESP)

For sake of predicting who will be in which pot for the group stage, I am choosing the teams who are currently leading in their playoff stage or have the advantage by hosting the 2nd leg. The four pots of eight teams are ordered by UEFA Coefficient. Here are the projected pots.

Pot 1 Italics mean guaranteed to be in that pot

Real Madrid (ESP)
Barcelona (ESP)
Bayern Munich (GER)
Chelsea (ENG)
Benfica (POR)
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Arsenal (ENG)
Porto (POR)

Pot 2 Italics mean guaranteed to be in that pot

Schalke 04 (GER)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Juventus (ITA)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Basel (SUI)
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Manchester City (ENG)

Pot 3 Italics mean guaranteed to be in that pot

Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Olympiacos (GRE)
CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Ajax (NED)
Liverpool (ENG)
Sporting CP (POR)
Galatasaray (TUR)

Athletic Bilbao (ESP)

Pot 4 Italics mean guaranteed to be in that pot

Anderlecht (BEL)
Roma (ITA)
Monaco (FRA)
Celtic (SCO)
Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
Steaua Bucuresti (ROM)
BATE Borisov (BLR)

If these projected pots are any indication, we could be seeing multiple “groups of death.” Anyone who gets Roma and Monaco will be a very tough group and we could be seeing a group consisting of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Roma. That is going to be an even worse group than what the US had in the World Cup.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp