Roberto Mancini’s Premier League holders Manchester City have been drawn in the same Champions League group as nine-times European champions and current La Liga winners Real Madrid. They will also face Ajax and Borussia Dortmund as they aim to reach the knockout stages of the continent’s most prestigious cup competition for the first time.
Reigning European victors Chelsea, will begin the defence of their trophy against the current Italian soccer champions Juventus, whilst Lionel Messi’s Barcelona have been handed a very easy looking draw against the likes of Celtic, Benfica and Spartak Moscow. Will the best player in the world be able to add to his awe inspiring scoring tally against these relative minnows?
Manchester United will face Galatasary, Braga and FC Cluj as they look to avoid a repeat of last year’s disappointment in the tournament. Sir Alex Ferguson will be adamant that his players eclipse their cross-city rivals on the world stage after they piped his Old Trafford side to the league title last season.
Chelsea, who lifted the European cup in Munich after defeating the Bavarian side in their own stadium on penalties, will also play Shakhtar Donetsk and Denmark’s FC Nordsjaelland.
Several of the other elite European sides, such as Arsenal, Paris St Germain, AC Milan and Bayern Munich will be pleased with the sides they have placed up against and might already believe that a safe passage to the last 16 is all but assured.
These games will commence from the 18th and 19th September, and run through to the 4th and 5th December.