KEIR RADNEDGE in MONTE CARLO: Celtic’s recovery to deny Shakhtar Karagandy a slice of Kazakh football history secured them not only a place in today’s Champions League group stage draw here but a guarantee of drama to match last term.
Celtic are in Pot Four which is the lowest rung of the ladder and means that several members of continental royalty will be rocking into Paradise mindful that it could provide a taste of hell.
Barcelona discovered that truth last season, taking Celtic too lightly despite having only scraped a home victory.
Manchester City demonstrated the challenge ahead for Neil Lennon & Co from ending up last season in the cul-de-sac of a group with
Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.
City are hardly much better off this time, sitting in Pot Three because of their low co-efficient – a computation based on their results in Europe over the last five years and which also takes into account of a national team’s statistic.
Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are among the eight top seeds but City could easily be drawn against holders Bayern Munich or Barcelona or Madrid.
No club can be in a group with another club from the same country, or from the same pot of seeds, which means United, Chelsea and Arsenal will all be assured of avoiding each other and the biggest names in Europe until the knock-out rounds.
Champions League draw pots
Zenit St Petersburg