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Champions League Draw: English teams happy, Spanish and Italian giants to clash in group stages

Aug 29, 2013, 12:54 PM EDT

UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League - Q1 and Q2 Qualifying Round Draw Getty Images

In Monaco on Thursday the UEFA Champions League group stage draw took place as the 32 teams that qualified found out their fate.

The draw provided several intriguing matchups as some huge European clubs will face each other in the opening round of play.

For the third year in a row Spanish and Italian giants Barcelona and AC Milan will go head-to-head after being paired together in the group stages, while another top Spanish vs. Italian clash will take place in group B as Real Madrid and Juventus square off.

Elsewhere group F has been dubbed the “Group of Death” by many, as Arsenal face Marseille, last years runners-up Borussia Dortmund and Rafael Benitez’ talented Napoli outfit.

As for the English clubs, Manchester City got off relatively lightly in group D as they face holders Bayern Munich, Russian champions CSKA Moscow and Czech side Viktoria Plzen. City have had no luck with the draw in recent seasons so Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be looking forward to the 2013/14 UCL campaign. While Chelsea will play Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest in group E  and David Moyes‘ Manchester United come up against Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad in group A.

This seasons competition is one of the strongest in recent history, as Europe’s elite club competition promises to provide plenty of scintillating action between now and the final next May.

A whole host of previous Champions League winners are involved this campaign, with Real Madrid (9 titles), AC Milan (7), Bayern Munich (5), Ajax (4), Barcelona (4) and Manchester United (3) all aiming to add another title to their tally.

The group stage begins on September 17-18 and will run until December 10-11. Then the knockout stages begin in February 2014 and the 2013/14 Champions League Final will take place in Portugal at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on May 24, 2014.

But for now all the focus is on the incredibly tough pairings drawn today, here are the eight UEFA Champions League groups for this seasons group stages:

GROUP A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad

GROUP B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen

GROUP C: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht

GROUP D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen

GROUP E: Chelsea, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest

GROUP F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli

GROUP G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Football Club Zenit, Austria Vienna

GROUP H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

  1. danielofthedale - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    The F in Group F stands for FUBAR’ed! Arsenal, Dortmund, Napoli, and OM! Not looking good for my Gunners. We really have not choice to but to spend some money if we want to make it out of the Group.

    • germanflyerfan - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      if it’s true arsenal bought eriksson. A good move but this year you will have a hard time in this group. It will be an intense fight between dortmund, arsenal and napoli…

      • danielofthedale - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Arsenal is not in on Eriksson.

      • cfutch - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Tottenham bought Eriksson

  2. germanflyerfan - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    4 times germany vs england.

  3. germanflyerfan - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    and honestly I can’t see why the english teams should be happy.

    if you watched real sociedad owning lyon, you wouldn’t say easy, donezk was last year defeated by dortmund in the quarterfinals(!).

    The only easy group for an english team is E.

  4. some1kj - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Dear o’ dear! The Gunners already decimated with injuries without any reinforcements in terms of super signings are up the creek without a paddle. Can’t see them get past the group stage or do much in the BPL unless they pull a miracle in the next 3 days and sign some big names, else the curtains are coming down on this, once a great club.

  5. gloryostrich - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Barca and Milan in the same group again, what else is new.

  6. bruceeff - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Yikes. Good luck, Celtic. You’re gonna need it.

  7. jackalope78 - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Wow. Groups F and H look to be exciting. The others all look fairly obvious.

  8. 77cjh77 - Aug 29, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    “A whole host of previous Champions League winners are involved this campaign, with Real Madrid (9 titles), AC Milan (7), Bayern Munich (5), Ajax (4), Barcelona (4) and Manchester United (3) all aiming to add another title to their tally.”

    what about other previous champions juventus (2), benfica (2), celtic (1), steaua bucharest (1), marseille (1), chelsea (1), borussia dortmund (1), and porto (1)? are they not also trying to add to their tally? i understand that listing all of the previous champions would have been a bit excessive, but the way this is worded makes it seem as if only the teams JPW listed have won before.

    perhaps the sentence would be better off as follows: “A whole host of previous Champions League winners are involved this campaign, with Real Madrid (9 titles), AC Milan (7), Bayern Munich (5), Ajax (4), Barcelona (4) and Manchester United (3), AMONG OTHERS, all aiming to add another title to their tally.”

    or

    “A whole host of previous Champions League winners, all aiming to add another title to their tally, are involved this campaign, INCLUDING Real Madrid (9 titles), AC Milan (7), Bayern Munich (5), Ajax (4), Barcelona (4) and Manchester United (3).”

    maybe it’s just me, but i feel like this was just lazy

  9. PhillieBirds - Aug 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Just FYI, Barca and Milan were not in the same group last year. However, they did play in the knockout round for the second year in a row.

  10. leonidas64 - Aug 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    this whole thing is rigged
    Arsenal in the 1st pot??
    The 1st pot should only be league champions and the defending UCL title holder.
    Pot 2 should be champions of smaller leagues or winners of domestic cups, everybody else should be put in the last two pots.

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