August 30 -Whilst there wasn’t quite a Group of Death in terms of four equally dangerous teams when the draw was made for this season’s Champions League, Group F came as close as it comes with Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and a new-look Inter Milan, boosted by the arrival of new manager Antonio Conte, looking particularly mouth-watering.
Spare a thought for the fall guys Sparta Prague whose delegates in the hall could be seen chuckling with resigned humour when they were placed in the same group as the three big hitters.
The draw threw up a number of other tasty encounters. While the four English clubs, in particular and not for the first time Manchester City, were handed relatively straightforward passages on paper, Liverpool, looking to defend their title, were grouped for the second straight year with Napoli while Chelsea take on Ajax and last season’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur may have to be content with second place after being pitted with Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid will vie with Paris St Germain for top spot in Group A as the pair renew their rivalry while Cristiano Ronaldo’s bid for a sixth Champions League title begins against a familiar foe, as Juventus were drawn alongside Atletico Madrid.
Champions League group stage draw in full:
Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray.
Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiakos, Red Star Belgrade.
Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta.
Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow.
Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk.
Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague.
Group G: Zenit St. Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig.
Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille.
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