The UEFA Champions League Draw has been completed and, as expected, there are plenty of juicy match-ups. Here are the groups:
- Group A: Chelsea, Roma, Bordeaux, CFR 1907 Cluj
- Group B: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathanaikos, Anorthosis Famagusta
- Group C: FC Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, FC Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk
- Group D: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, Atletico Madrid
- Group E: Manchester United, Villarreal, Celtic, Alborg BK
- Group F: Lyon, Bayern Munich, Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina
- Group G: Arsenal, Porto, Fenerbahce, Dynamo Kiev
- Group H: Real Madrid, Juventus, Zenit St. Petersburg, BATE Borisov
Toughest group is pretty clearly Group D, with Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Marseille and PSV Eindhoven. The subplot of Fernando Torres returning to face Atletico Madrid is going be great drama.
Here are some other interesting notes about the groups:
There are no truly easy groups, but if there’s a candidate for easiest group, that nod goes to Group B, with Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathanaikos and Anorthosis Famagusta. Jose Mourinho should see his boys in blue and black cruise to the next round.
Manchester United faces off against Villarreal in a game with its own subplot. You have Giuseppe Rossi facing his old club. Man U also gets to see Celtic again in what seems like an annual Champions League clash. Now, if Jozy Altidore stays with Villarreal then this match-up gets even juicier for American fans, but with rumors swirling about an impending loan deal, we might need to hold off expectations about Altidore’s Champions League debut.
Looking for some MLS alumni? Try recently sold former FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja, who will join Steaua Bucharest in facing Lyon, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina in arguably the second toughest group after Group D.
The Real Madrid-Juventus match-up in Group H is pretty mouth-watering as well. With Andrei Arshavin’s future still unclear, it remains to be seen how much of a threat Zenit St. Petersburg will be able to pose to Real and Juve in that group.
FC Barcelona has to be liking its draw, with Sporting Lisbon and Shaktar Donetsk not exactly pushovers, but not exactly Juventus either.
It’s poll time. Here are some things to consider:
More info to come. For now, Share your thoughts on the groups below.