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Willem II Willem II WII

2

Champions League 2019/20

Zenit joke about place in Pot 1 of the Champions League draw

Zenit St Petersburg are all too aware of their staure in European football, and their social media team were happy to point this out.

El Zenit de San Petersburgo celebra el título de liga
ANTON VAGANOV REUTERS

On Thursday 29 August, the 2019/20 Champions League group stage draw is held in Monaco, and sees three strong English teams in Pot 1, but it is a lesser fancied 'top seed' that has caused some mirth ahead of the ceremony.

Zenit have the last laugh

Premier League champions Manchester City are joined by the winners of last year's two UEFA competitions, Liverpool and Chelsea in the eight first seedings. Then come domestic champions Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, all whom are seen as potential contenders for the latter stages of the tournament.

The last place is taking by Russian champion Zenit, thanks to the country's UEFA ranking, and they were happy to joke about the seriousness of their threat. From their Twitter account came the claim: "The team that everyone wants in the Champions League draw".

Shocks can always happen in football, but it is true that they fall somewhere short of the stature of some of the other sides in even the lower pots. Assertions will be cast to the 'fortunate' sides who end up with a trip to St Petersburg, however, the Russian qualifier knows that they are the ones who avoid Europe's elite.

Final places secured for the draw

On Wednesday night Ajax, Bruges and Slavia Prague ensured they too would be present for the glamorous occasion, after overcoming Apoel, Lask Linz and Cluj respectively. The Dutch team were a revelation last season, missing out on the final to a last gasp Spurs goal. After selling some of their stars, few expect them to match those feats this year, but you never know...