The draw for the Champions League Group Stages were made yesterday, the draw put together some interesting groups that also sees some old faces return to their old clubs.
The groups are as follows:
Group A- Paris St Germain, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo
Group B- PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg
Group C- Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray and Astana
Group D- Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach
Group E- Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma and BATE Borisov
Group F- Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb
Group G- Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Group H- Zenit St Petersburg, Valencia, Olympique Lyon and Gent
Out of the English teams Chelsea will feel they have had a decent draw that should see them through their group relatively easy. While the two Manchester clubs City and United have been given tricky groups although they both avoided drawing Barcelona or Bayern Munich. Manchester City face last years finalists Juventus, as well as Europa League winners Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach . Manchester United will face two league runners up and a league winner in the form of PSV, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg. Arsenal will be fighting to win their group with Bayern Munich which means they won’t have to face them in the knockout stages at least, but they also face Olympiakos for the fourth time in the last five seasons and Dinamo Zagreb who have a knack of producing some fine young midfield players the next one being Ante Coric. Some of the other groups that look interesting are Real Madrid’s and Barcelona’s groups and it will be interesting to see who qualifies and comes first.
Some of the old faces that are making returns to old clubs include Memphis Depay who is making an immediate return to Eindhoven as United’s first game in the group is away to PSV. Jose Mourinho faces Porto the club with which he won his first Champions League. Angel Di Maria will be facing Real Madrid for the first time since he left them. Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will be making a triumphant return to Roma as a treble winner, having had not quite the same success in Rome.
The Champions League is back and everyone is fighting to be in that final in Milan come May, let’s hope we are in for another exciting season of European football.