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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Chelsea dealt Europe seeding blow
Jose Mourinho has his sights on the Champions League
Jose Mourinho has his sights on the Champions League
Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool will be among the top seeds for next season's Champions League but Chelsea have again missed out.

The Premiership champions will be among the second seeds despite the absence of Italian sides Juventus and AC Milan.

Beaten finalists Arsenal and 2005 champions Liverpool still need to qualify to take their place among the top seeds for the group phase.

Scottish champions Celtic will join Chelsea in the pot of second seeds.

The Blues now face the possibility of facing reigning champions Barcelona who knocked them out of last season's competition at the first knockout phase.

Juventus and AC Milan are set to appeal against the punishments for Italy's match-fixing scandal which ruled that they could not compete in the tournament next term.

European Cup champions Barcelona
Chelsea could meet current champions Barcelona in the group stages

Even if their appeals are successful, the result would not affect the seedings of the British clubs.

The Italian FA is expected to announce on 25 July that Roma, Chievo and Palermo will join Inter Milan in the Champions League.

While Celtic enjoy the highest ever ranking given to a Scottish side, Hearts, should they qualify, are likely to be one of the lowest seeds.

Uefa splits the 32 entrants into four pots of eight teams, divided according to their current European ranking.

Each group will contain one team from the top seeds, one from the second seeds, one for the third and one from the fourth.

The draw for the group stages will take place on 24 August in Monaco.

SEE ALSO
Barcelona v Chelsea
06 Mar 06 |  Europe


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