Champions League Draw 2012: Complete Results and Bracket

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2012

INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - JULY 20:  Head coach of Manchester City Roberto Mancini looks on during a preseason friendly match between Manchester City and Besiktas Iston nbul at Tivoli Neu on July 20, 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Every time I hear the song, I get chills. "THE CHAMP-IONS!" the chorus sings as a Champions League game gets set to begin. 

There's nothing better. The Champions League is upon us!

With qualifying and the playoff round now through, Thursday saw the draw set for this year's Champions' League. Fans of 32 clubs eagerly awaited as the group stages were set.

Which clubs would defending champion Chelsea draw? Who would draw the dreaded "Group of Death," with teams like Manchester City in Pot 2, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in Pot 3 and Borussia Dortmund in Pot 4?

Everything you need to prep for this year's tournament—the teams, the draw, the schedule and yes, even my predictions—are below.  It's time for "THE CHAMP-IONS!"


The Teams

One team from each pot makes up each group. Teams from the same country cannot be in the same group. Per UEFA's club coefficient scores, the pots for the seedings were drawn up as follows: 


Pot 1 

Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan


Pot 2 

Valencia, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, Schalke, Manchester City, Braga, Dynamo Kiev


Pot 3 

Olympiacos, Anderlecht, Ajax, Juventus, Spartak Moscow, Paris Saint-Germain, Galatasaray, Lille


Pot 4 

Celtic, Borussia Dortmund, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, CFR Cluj, Montpellier, Malaga, Nordsjaelland


The Draw

Group A: Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Paris Saint-Germain, GNK Dinamo

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Paris Saint-Germain and Porto


Group B: Arsenal, Schalke 04, Olympiacos, Montpellier

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Arsenal and Schalke 04


Group C: AC Milan, Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht, Malaga

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: AC Milan and Zenit St. Petersburg


Group D: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund


Group E: Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Nordsjaelland

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Juventus and Chelsea


Group F: Bayern Munich, Valencia, Lille, BATE Borisov

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Bayern Munich and Lille


Group G: Barcelona, SL Benfica, Spartak Moskva, Celtic

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Barcelona and SL Benfica


Group H: Manchester United, Braga, Galatasaray, CFR Cluj

Predicted Winner and Runner-up: Manchester United and Braga


The Schedule

Each team plays every other team in the group twice, once at home and once away. Each group match will take place on a Tuesday or Wednesday. 

  • Matchday 1: September 18-19
  • Matchday 2: October 2-3
  • Matchday 3: October 23-24
  • Matchday 4: November 6-7
  • Matchday 5: November 20-21
  • Matchday 6: December 4-5
  • Round of 16 (first leg): February 12-13 and February 19-20
  • Round of 16 (second leg): March 5-6 and March 12-13
  • Quarterfinals (first leg): April 2-3
  • Quarterfinals (second leg): April 9-10
  • Semifinals (first leg): April 23-24
  • Semifinals (second leg): May 1 and May 3-4
  • Final: May 13


Thoughts and Overall Tournament Predictions

If you wanted a Group of Death, you got it. Four league champions comprise Group D (how appropriate is that), with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund set to battle it out. There will be heartbreak for one of these sides, and I think the German and Spanish champions will advance. 

Bayern Munich also drew a tricky group, with Valencia, Lille and BATE Borisov all capable of advancing to the Round of 16. Manchester United should win Group H easily, while Group B (Arsenal, Schalke 04, Olympiacos, Montpellier) could go any way.

It's hard to bet against Barcelona in this tournament. Already arguably the deepest side in the world, the additions of Jordi Alba and Alex Song and the return of David Villa make the Catalans even more formidable. Same with Real Madrid, who just knocked off Barca in the Spanish Supercopa and added Luka Modric this summer.

Both Manchester squads are intriguing, especially United now that they have Robin van Persie, though City may not escape the group. Chelsea and new wonder-kid Eden Hazard are not to be ignored. Juventus and PSG are sure to make noise. 

But I like Bayern Munich this year, especially after the addition of Javi Martinez. After losing the championship to Chelsea in Munich a year ago, what could be better than winning this year's tournament at Wembley? 

Look for the Bavarians to be this year's champions of Europe.


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