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City hope for better luck of the draw

29 August 2012

Tomorrow at 11:30 A.M. ET, UEFA will hold the draw in Monaco for the Champions League group stage. I’ll be watching the live broadcast on FOX Soccer Channel to find out who City will face in their second season in the world’s elite soccer competition — and to marvel at the multilingual skills of the show’s hosts.

Last year, City fans’ worst nightmare were realized as they were drawn into the Group of Death, along with Bayern Munich, Villarreal, and Napoli. We all know how that turned out. City have progressed from Pot 3 to Pot 2 over the past year, so hopefully the only big club the face in the group stage is their draw from Pot 1: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Porto, or AC Milan.

Remarkably, there’s still a possibility of another Group of Death, with the champions of the four biggest leagues in Europe — Real Madrid, City, Juventus, and Borussia Dortmund — being drawn into the same group. The draw I’d actually fear even more would be Barcelona, PSG, and Málaga.

On the flip side, the easiest possible group probably would include Porto, Anderlecht, and FC Nordsjælland. Honestly, I’d be happy with either Porto or AC Milan from Pot 1, anyone except Juve and PSG from Pot 3, and anyone other than Dortmund, Málaga, and Montpellier from Pot 4.

We’ll find out in about 12 hours whether fortunate favors the Blues this season.

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