Thursday Kickoff: Pots set for Champions League draw, Berbatov to Fulham & more

Thursday Kickoff: Pots set for Champions League draw, Berbatov to Fulham & more

UEFA Champions League

Thursday Kickoff: Pots set for Champions League draw, Berbatov to Fulham & more

Chelsea (Getty Images)

The roadmap for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage will be set on Thursday, with one of the ultimate groups of death lingering as a possibility. The champions of England, Germany, Italy and Spain could all be drawn into the same group, with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund put in pots 1-4, respectively.

Here are the four pots, which are based on UEFA's club coefficients:

Pot 1: Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan

Pot 2: Valencia, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit-St. Petersburg, Schalke, Manchester City, Braga, Dynamo Kyiv

Pot 3: Olympiakos, Ajax, Anderlecht, Juventus, Spartak Moscow, Paris St-Germain, Lille, Galatasaray

Pot 4: Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, CFR 1907 Cluj, Malaga, Montpellier, Nordsjaelland

Here are a few more stories to get your Thursday going:


Dimitar Berbatov's whirlwind couple of days have resulted in him not leaving England after all.

After a transfer saga that has seen him reportedly go back on a verbal agreement with Fiorentina and then nearly sign with Italian champion Juventus, it appears that the 31-year-old Bulgarian striker is headed to Craven Cottage to sign with Fulham

Fulham manager Martin Jol said that Berbatov was undergoing a physical with the club Thursday, ahead of a surprise move to the London club.

"We contacted the player's agent and he said to us that Berbatov had an offer from his former coach to join Fulham," Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta told Sky Italia. "He wants to stay in England because of his family, it's a life choice, not a matter of money."


Stoke City have a thing for central midfielders during this transfer window, and their latest interest may have a two-pronged affect for Americans abroad.

The Potters are reportedly eyeing Liverpool's Charlie Adam and have made the Reds a £5 million offer for the Scottish central midfielder, who would potentially add another competitor for Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu for playing time at Britannia Stadium in what is becoming an increasingly crowded depth chart for manager Tony Pulis. Stoke's loan for Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone is not completely dead, either. Stoke is not the only destination for Adam, as Fenerbahce has also reportedly showed interest in him.

Should Liverpool sell Adam, it would provide the club with more financial flexibility, which, the BBC suggests would be used to pry Clint Dempsey from Fulham and put an end to his sticky situation with the club ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline. 


Manchester City's latest bid to sign Scott Sinclair is apparently satisfactory enough for Swansea City.

After having a £6.2 million bid rejected earlier this week, City have had an offer that can reach up to £8 million accepted by the Welsh club, who will reportedly replace Sinclair with Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez. The offer for Sinclair includes the original £6.2 million bid along with different incentives that can have price increase. After the Sinclair transfer becomes complete, Swansea will reportedly go ahead and add Hernandez for £5.5 million.


What are some UCL group possibilities that you are hoping for? Do you think the seeding should be done differently? Surprised to see Berbatov end up at Fulham? How do you feel about Adam potentially joining a central midfield with Edu and Cameron? Do you hope that move ends with Dempsey winding up at Anfield? Do you see Sinclair pitching in for the first team at City? Do you like what Swansea has done during this transfer window?

Share your thoughts below.

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