The UEFA Champions League group stages are always filled with intriguing matchups, but few match the excitement that will be provided by Pep Guardiola’s return home.
Guardiola’s Manchester City was placed in Group C alongside Barcelona, headlining Thursday’s Champions League draw. Joining the two powerhouses is Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach, creating what appears to be the most difficult foursome of the group stage.
Last year’s winners, Real Madrid, also face a tough group task against Borussia Dortmund, while Atletico Madrid faces off with Bayern Munich in Group D. Premier League champions Leicester escaped with a fairly advantageous path, joining Porto, Club Brugge and FC Copenhagen in Group G.
The first round of the group stages is set for Sept. 13-14.
Here’s a closer look at the Champions League groups:
GROUP A: Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, FC Basel, Ludogorets
GROUP B: Benfica, Napoli, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas
GROUP C: Barcelona, Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach, Celtic
GROUP D: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, PSV Eindhoven, Rostov
GROUP E: CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham, Monaco
GROUP F: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sporting, Legia Warsaw
GRPUP G: Leicester City, Porto, Club Brugge, Copenhagen
GROUP H: Juventus, Sevilla, Lyon, Dinamo Zagreb
What do you think of the Champions League draw? Which groups standout? Who do you see making a run, and which teams may cause some surprises?
Share your thoughts below.