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Full draw: European giants collide as UEFA Champions League groups set

Aug 28, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

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

On Thursday the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage was made in Monaco and plenty of top European teams will clash in the continent’s elite club competition.

Reigning champions Real Madrid were handed a good draw alongside Premier League side Liverpool, as the Spanish giants will try to become the first team in the modern era to defend the UCL trophy.

[ANALYSIS: Arsenal, City get tough draw]

Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester City were handed tough draws, as they will once again face German opposition in the group stage.

For the second season running City will face Bayern Munich, while Arsenal also have Borussia Dortmund as they did back in 2013-14.  Man City also face Roma and CSKA Moscow in the ‘Group of Death’ while the Gunners have Galatasaray and Anderlecht. Chelsea got off lightly as they have Schalke, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor.

[RELATED: Latest Champions League news]

On their return to the Champions League for the first time since 2009, Liverpool were handed a decent draw with defending champions Real Madrid, Swiss giants FC Basel and a tricky trip to Bulgaria against Ludogorets.

Other notable news from the draw will see Juventus clash with Atletico Madrid in Group A, while FC Barcelona, Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain will collide In Group F.

The opening games of the 2014-15 group stages of the Champions League will begin on September 16-17, while the final will be played in Berlin on June 6, 2015 as the German capital will host the showpiece event for the first time in history.

2014-15 Champions League groups in full

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo

Group B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets

Group C: Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Monaco

Group D: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht

Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, Roma

Group F: FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax, APOEL Nicosia

Group G: Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting Lisbon, Maribor

Group H: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, BATE Borisov

  1. Ian's Rushtache - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Madrid is a tough draw, but the rest of the group looks highly manageable.

    Of the English sides I think that Arsenal may have the most even/tough group. That trip to Gala is never easy. Slip past one Turkish side just to face another.

    • Ian's Rushtache - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Unless, of course, Motion goes Superman again.

      • Ian's Rushtache - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        I hate freaking auto correct! Moti not Motion.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Agree with this assessment.

      Think Liverpool fans should be very happy with that draw. Basel and Ludogorets about as good as it got from pots 3 and 4. Plus, the glamour tie vs. Real!

      I fear for the Gunners, tricky test at Galatasaray, who are much stronger than Besiktas. Dortmund are never easy to beat either.

      Man City always seems to get tough draws in UCL. Their games vs. Bayern should be absolute crackers though…

      • Ian's Rushtache - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Agreed.

        I rated Arsenals group tougher solely on the trip to Galatasaray. That’s a long trip and an awful stadium to be a visiting team in. The discrepancy in quality depth between them and Citeh makes their group a little tougher me thinks, not that Arsenal is lacking quality, they just don’t have the abundance of quality Citeh has.

        Though, the trimmed down roster for Citeh might cone in play. It will be interesting to see if and how that effects their efforts in Europe.

  2. medic0nduty - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    City got the hardest draw out of all the English teams. Bayern Munich, Roma, and a trip to Russia? Definitely harder than Arsenal’s group last year. Speaking of the Gunners, I agree Arsenal’s group is tough, but they should go through. Dortmund have been hot/cold at best and while going to Turkey is hard, Arsenal should win the home leg. So while there’s a good chance they might not, I would be very surprised if they don’t advance. Pool and Chelsea should make it out of their groups as well.

  3. hazacar145 - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    We got the easiest group out of all the English teams,Epl and CL for us this season i hope,Chelsea all the way

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