Pompey Braced For Group Stage Draw

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 03 October 2008
40 teams are left in the UEFA Cup with a mixture of big glamour clubs and obscure minnows ready to see who they will be playing in the group stage of the competition.

Portsmouth are in pot four of five and will need to finish in the top three of their group to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

Finishing top of the group will mean playing a third placed side from another group in the knockout stages and vice-versa but finishing second will mean that Pompey will play a team that finished third in their Champions League group.

Pompey have country protection so cannot be drawn against Tottenham or Manchester City whilst Aston Villa are also in pot four with us.

Here are the pots with the locations for each team:

Pot 1

AC Milan (Milan, Italy)
Sevilla (Seville, Spain)
Valencia (Valencia, Spain)
Benfica (Lisbon, Portugal)
Schalke 04 (Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
CSKA Moscow (Moscow, Russia)
Tottenham Hotspur (London, England)
Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany)

Pot 2

VfB Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany)
Ajax (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Olympiakos (Athens, Greece)
Deportivo La Coruna (La Coruna, Spain)
Club Brugge (Bruges, Belgium)
Spartak Moscow (Moscow, Russia)
Paris Saint-Germain (Paris, France)
Heerenveen (Heerenveen, Netherlands)

Pot 3

Rosenborg (Trondheim, Norway)
Udinese (Udine, Italy)
Feyenoord (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Sporting Braga (Braga, Portugal)
Slavia Prague (Prague, Czech Republic)
Manchester City (Manchester, England)
Galatasaray (Istanbul, Turkey)
Sampdoria (Genoa, Italy)

Pot 4

Hertha Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Partizan Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)
AS Nancy (Nancy, France)
Portsmouth (Portsmouth, England)
Aston Villa (Birmingham, England)
Racing Santander (Santander, Spain)
FC Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Dinamo Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)

Pot 5

Saint-Etienne (Saint Etienne, France)
VfL Wolfsburg (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Standard Liege (Liege, Belgium)
FC Twente (Enschede, Netherlands)
NEC (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Metalist Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Ukraine)
Lech Poznan (Poznan, Poland)
MSK Zilina (Zilina, Slovakia)

As you can see, there are many strong teams in the draw and the unknown quantities are going to be tough too so we have a battle to get through the group stages.

I would take anyone bar CSKA Moscow from pot 1 for the sheer glamour factor. Moscow would cost a bomb to visitand it would be freezing cold over there too! Portsmouth vs AC Milan anyone?

I would take anyone from pot 2 too except from Spartak Moscow for the same reason as CSKA. Ajax, Deportivo or PSG could make for great away days and they're all beatable too.

Pot 3 is a mixed bag but I'm sure that any sane Englishman would want to avoid Galatasaray as the trouble between English and Turkish fans is well documented. Braga would be very interesting given that we have just knocked out their rivals whilst I'd be quite tempted by a trip to Rotterdam if we were to play Feyenood away.
 
Obviously we can't draw anyone from pot 4 which is good as that means we avoid a long trip to Serbia. I'd love to see Pompey draw FC Twente from pot 5 if only to wipe the stupid smirk off of Steve McClaren's face. I don't want Liege though, they look very strong.

The draw takes place this Tuesday at 11am GMT so be ready and listen out for it!

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