The Champions League group stage draw in Monaco yesterday put several clubs facing difficult task, some resume their rivalries again and others were rewarded with weaker opponents until the knock-out rounds. Perhaps Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG were lucky to have weaker clubs in their groups or no bigger club names in Europe. And here’s the full grouping of the 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four.
GROUP A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
GROUP C: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiacos, Anderlecht
GROUP D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen
GROUP E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest
GROUP F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
GROUP G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Austria Vienna
GROUP H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic
Manchester City has avoided and escaped another “group of death” year and probably this time under Pellegrini they will finally reach beyond the knockout stage. While the nine-time European champion Real Madrid has been paired with Serie A current champions Juventus. Then Barca, Milan and Celtic have resumed their rivalries in an intriguing group and ManU, Chelsea and perhaps PSG too are lucky enough to have a weaker side clubs in their respective groups. And the worst group who faces a difficult task ahead is Arsenal who joined with last season’s finalist Dortmund and the strengthened Italian side Napoli.