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Who can Arsenal and Newcastle United draw in the Champions League group stages?

The draw takes place this afternoon

The Champions League is set to commence one again this Thursday, with the group stage draw due to take place at 5pm BST in Monaco.

Four English teams will learn their fates, with current European Champions Manchester City and Manchester United both set to be involved, as well as long-awaited returns to Europe’s top stage for Arsenal and Newcastle United.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have not been in the Champions League since Arsene Wenger was in charge, when they were dumped out of the 2016/17 competition courtesy of a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the round of 16.

For Newcastle, the wait has been even longer, with the Magpies having not been part of Europe’s elite since the 2003/04 season, where they couldn’t make it past the qualifying rounds for the tournament.

Thanks to this, both sides will be keeping a keen eye on the draw, but who could they be paired up with?

Courtesy of the UEFA coefficient system, the 32 sides remaining in the competition have been placed into four pots of 8, with domestic and European Champions in pot 1 and those with the lowest coefficient in pot 4.

It means that each of these sides will face a side from pots 1 and 3, with pot one consisting of Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain, Benfica and Feyenoord (Manchester City can be excluded as clubs from the same nation can’t be drawn against each other).

Pot 3, meanwhile, includes Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, PSV Eindhoven and Copenhagen.

Then, for Arsenal and Manchester United, they will face a team from pot 4 (excluding Newcastle United) so could face Young Boys, Real Socieded, Galatasaray, Celtic, Union Berlin, Antwerp or RC Lens.

Eddie Howe’s side will be taking on one of the six remaining sides in pot 2, so could face Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Porto.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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