English clubs find out Champions League fate
By Niall Clarke
- Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb in Group F
- Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group G
- Man United, PSV, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg in Group B
- Man City, Juventus, Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach in Group D
Monaco, France: The four British representatives found out their Champions League group stage fate when the draw was made on Thursday evening.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United will take place in the 32 team competition which kicks off on the 15th/16th of September.
Group F: Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb
The Gunners have been drawn with German Champions Bayern Munich in the opening stage of the Champions League. The German giants knocked Arsenal out of this competition in consecutive season in 2013 and 2014, and their name next to the English side in the draw will worry Gooners around the world.
Arsene Wenger will be hoping to go at least one further than last year, where they was unceremoniously dumped out by Monaco in the last 16. Arsenal have never gone all the way in the Champions League, with a final appearance in 2006 being their best result. The London club will feel that this year they have as big as a chance as any after re-enforcing their back line with the signing of Petr Cech.
Bayern made the final four of this competition last year, losing out to eventual champions Barcelona. Despite being unable to recapture Europe’s greatest footballing prize, Pep Guardiola’s men went on to complete a first ever domestic double. The loss of Bastian Schweinsteiger was a blow to the Bavarian club, but they replaced the German International by signing Arturo Vidal from Juventus, and added Shakhtar Donetsk forward Douglas Costa to their ranks.
Elsewhere in the group, Arsenal will face tough but winnable trips to Athens and Zagreb when they Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) August 27, 2015
Group D: Manchester City, Juventus, Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach
Manchester City will feel they have overall the toughest group of all the English clubs after being drawn with Italian Champions Juventus, Europa League winners Sevilla and German club Borussia Monchengladbach in a stacked group G.
The Sky Blues have been less than impressive in their Champions League tenures thus far, failing to make it past the round of 16. Of course that is partly down to tough draws, but there has been something missing when it comes to The Citizen’s performances at this level. Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping to end their torrid Champions League run with a good result this time around.
It will be a tough ask for City to even make it past the group stages. Juventus finished as runners up last year, but the losses of Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal are huge blows to The Old Lady. Europa League champions Sevilla might actually prove to be a more difficult challenge for the Manchester club. The Spaniard’s have an excellent side which is always improving, and they pushed Barcelona to the limit in the UEFA Super Cup. Gladbach are also a free flowing side that could cause problems despite failing to qualify last year.
Group G: Chelsea, FC Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will return to former club Porto as The Blues begin their bid for a second Champions League triumph.
The Portuguese man achieved success at this level when he won the Champions League with Porto in 2004- Something he has not been able to replicate at Chelsea. The London club won their only Champions League title back in 2012 under Roberto Di Matteo where Didier Drogba was the hero in Munich. Since then, Chelsea have failed to make it to the final with a round of 16 appearance the best they could manage last season.
Chelsea will also make long trips to the Ukraine and Israel to face Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Group B: Manchester United, PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg
Manchester United will return to Champions League action after a one year absence this season, and have been drawn with Dutch champions PSV, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.
The Red Devils will be competing in Europe’s major competition for the first time under manager Louis Van Gaal. The Dutchman will be hoping to repeat their success of three times prior where they were able to go all the way. United looked impressive in their 7-1 aggregate win over Club Brugge in qualifying, with Wayne Rooney scoring a hat trick in a 4-0 second leg win for the Red Devils
PSV, CSKA and Wolfsburg will provide stern tests for United upon their return to the competition proper. PSV won the Eredivise, CSKA always provide a tough trip to Moscow and Wolfsburg finished as runners up in the Bundesliga last season.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 27, 2015
Full group stage draw
Group A: PSG, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo.
Group B: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg.
Group C: Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana.
Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach.
Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, BATE Borisov.
Group F: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb.
Group G: Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Group H: Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, KAA Gent.
The ceremony also included the presentation of the UEFA Best Player award, which was given to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The first round of fixtures have also been announced for the 15th and 16th of September.
Galatasaray vs Atlético Madrid
VfL Wolfsburg vs CSKA Moscow
Paris Saint Germain vs Malmo
Sevilla vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk
PSV Eindhoven vs Man United
Benfica vs Astana
Man City vs Juventus
Olympiacos vs Bayern Munich
Dynamo Kyiv vs FC Porto
Gent vs Lyon
Roma vs Barcelona
Bayer Leverkusen vs BATE Borisov
GNK Dinamo vs Arsenal
Valencia vs Zenit
Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv
The UEFA Champions League will kick off on the 15th September. You can follow the action via our live scoring service: Live Scores