Monday, 8 August 2016

When is the Champions League playoff draw and who could Manchester City play?

When is the Champions League playoff draw and who could Manchester City play?
There are still 20 clubs vying to earn a place in the group stages of the competition this season, but 10 will be left disappointed. Here's Goal's complete guide to the draw
Manchester City will discover which club lies between them and the Champions League on Friday, when the draw for the playoff round of the competition is made. The Etihad Stadium club finished fourth in the Premier League last season and as such will have to negotiate a playoff fixture to reach the group stages. Pep Guardiola’s side will be seeded for the draw but could still face the likes of Roma and Monaco over two legs later this month.
Here is everything you need to know about the draw.

WHEN IS THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAYOFF DRAW?

The draw will take place at 11:00 BST at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.



HOW WILL IT TAKE PLACE?

Although there are still 10 spots up for grabs in the Champions League and therefore 20 teams involved in the draw, they are split into two groups, each of which is seeded.

Firstly, there is the ‘champions route’. This involves the teams who won their domestic leagues last season but did not earn automatic entry to the competition because the UEFA coefficient of their country is too low.

Scottish champions Celtic are among the sides in this group and are seeded due to their relatively strong club coefficient. Brendan Rodgers’ troops could play Dinamo Zagreb, Ludogorets Razgrad, FC Copenhagen, Hapoel Beer-Sheva or Dundalk.

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will, however, have their thoughts turned to the sides in the ‘league group’, which is reserved for nations hoping to have two or more participants in the group stages. Roma, Monaco, Young Boys, Rostov or Steaua Bucharest are possible opponents for them.

The winners of each of the 10 ties will progress to the Champions League, while any team that fails at this stage at least has a safety net in the form of a guaranteed Europa League group berth.


WHO WILL CITY WANT TO AVOID?

Manchester City will fancy their chances against any of the teams they come up against, and as semi-finalists last season will likely start as favourites. However, Roma are opponents that Guardiola would like to avoid, while Monaco, with Radamel Falcao back in scoring form, could also provide a banana skin as the Catalan experiences this scenario for the first time.

The toughest tie Celtic could get, meanwhile, would be Dinamo Zagreb.


WHEN ARE THE MATCHES?

The first legs of these ties will be played on August 16 and 17. The return matches are a week later on August 23 and 24.

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League takes place on August 25. 
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