Manchester City face a tough test, Liverpool play last season’s Champions League winners on return and Chelsea have a fairly easy outing.
Liverpool have been handed a fairly tough return to the Champions League as they have been drawn in Group B along with last season’s Champions League winners Real Madrid. They also have a tricky fixture against Swiss side Basel, which has beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in European fixtures in the past. Bulgarian rookies Ludogorets are also in the same group. On paper, the Reds look like they could make it past the group stage. Brendan Rodgers team should definitely win against Ludogrets, but taking Basel lightly could prove to be a huge mistake as has been proven in the recent past.
Arsenal were drawn alongside Borussia Dortmund once again, and also have Galatasaray and Anderlecht in Group D. The Gunners look like they would get past the group stage, but they have no reason to take either one of Galatasaray or Belgian outfit Anderlecht lightly.
Last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City have the worst possible group and their unsuccessful European runs might continue for the fourth consecutive season as they have been paired with Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma- the first two for the second straight year- in Group E.
Jose Mourinho can well focus on having his typical ‘successful second season’ after being drawn along with Schalke 04, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor in Group G. The comparatively easy fixtures would help them focus on their domestic season and they would try to win the Premier League title.
Barcelona are in Group F alongside Paris St. Germain and Ajax. Cyprus football club APOEL FC is also in the same group. Barcelona and PSG look like the ones who would progress to the knockout stages, but Ajax would definitely be providing competition and hoping to make it past the group stage. Group A comprises last season’s Spanish league winners Atletico Madrid and Italian league winners Juventus. Greek side Olympiakos along with Swedish club Malmö are also in the group and will face tough tests against the European biggies.
Group H seems like a fairly open group with FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao and BATE Borisov. Group C has last season’s Europa league finalists Benfica, German side Bayer Leverkusen and French big spending club AS Monaco. Andre Villas Boas’s Zenit St. Petersburg are the other side to be drawn in this group. This group also seems pretty open and the certain two sides to progress further can’t be determined from now.