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Champions League draw: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain in same pot; Neymar's Camp Nou return delayed

Neymar will be denied an immediate return to Barcelona when the Champions League draw is made in Monaco on Thursday.

Both his Paris Saint-Germain team and the Catalan giants he left earlier this month for a world record €222 million euros ($264m) have been placed in pot two, among the second seeds.

Reigning champions and Spanish title-holders Real Madrid head the pot of top seeds, the champions from the eight highest-ranked countries in the UEFA rankings.

File image of Neymar. Reuters

File image of Neymar. Reuters

England's Chelsea, Germany's Bayern Munich, Monaco of France's Ligue 1, Portuguese giants Benfica, Serie A champions Juventus, Russians Spartak Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine make up the rest of pot one.

But if anything, pot two looks even stronger with both Manchester clubs, Borussia Dormtund, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Porto in alongside PSG and Barca.

Dangerous sides including Tottenham Hotspur and Italian pair Napoli and Roma lurk in pot three, with Liverpool potentially joining them if they get past Hoffenheim on Wednesday evening.

The final five qualifiers for the 32-team Champions League group stages will be known later on Wednesday.

Each outfit will be drawn into one of eight four-team groups where clubs from the same country are kept apart.

The draw will take place at 6 pm (1600 GMT) in Monaco.

Pot 1:

Real Madrid (ESP/champions), Bayern Munich (GER), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Chelsea (ENG), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Monaco (FRA), Spartak Moscow (RUS)

Pot 2:

Barcelona (ESP), Atletico Madrid (ESP), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Sevilla (ESP), Manchester City (ENG), Porto (POR), Manchester United (ENG)

Pot 3:

Anderlecht (BEL), Basel (SUI), Besiktas (TUR), Napoli (ITA), Olympiakos (GRE), Roma (ITA), Tottenham (ENG), plus one more

Pot 4:

Glasgow (SCO/possibly in pot 3), Maribor (SLO), Feyenoord (NED), RB Leipzig (GER), plus four more teams

Group stage fixtures:

Match day 1: 12-13 September

Match day 2: 26-27 September

Match day 3: 17-18 October

Match day 4: October 31-November 1

Match day 5: 21-22 November

Match day 6: 5-6 December

Published Date: Aug 24, 2017 01:22 AM | Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 01:22 AM

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