The highly anticipated draw of this year’s UEFA Champions League took place on Thursday, August 25.
The 32 teams were separated into four pots. Pot 1 contained the holders (Real Madrid) and the champions of the top 7 leagues, as ranked by UEFA country coefficient.
The remaining three pots were ranked in order of UEFA team coefficient, which is based on a club’s performance in the Champions League and the Europa League over the past five years. The eight highest-ranked teams will be in pot 2, the next eight in pot 3 and lowest-ranked eight in pot 4.
From England, Premier League champions Leicester City are making their debut in Europe’s elite club competition, while Manchester City assured their entry with a dominant victory against Steaua Bucharest in the play-offs. They are joined by Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Leicester City were in Pot 1 as the winners of the Premier League. They were joined Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain and CSKA Moscow, who are the champions of the top-seven ranked nations in Europe. Real Madrid were also in Pot 1, having won the Champions League last season. Arsenal and Manchester City were in Pot 2, while Spurs were in Pot 3.
Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, FC Basel, PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.
Group B: Benfica, Napoli, Dynamo Kyiv, Besiktas.
Group C: Barcelona, Manchester City, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic.
Group D: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, PSV Eindhoven, FC Rostov.
Group E: CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Monaco.
Group F: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Legia Warsaw.
Group G: Leicester City, FC Porto, Club Brugge, F.C. Copenhagen.
Group H: Juventus, Sevilla, Olympique Lyonnais, Dinamo Zagreb.
So the defending champions Real Madrid can expect a smooth ride through the group stage after being grouped with Dortmund, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Legia Warsaw.
Coming to English teams, debutant Leicester City will be very pleased with the draw. They cannot ask for a better draw as they are grouped with Porto,Club Brugge and Copenhagen. The English champions are expected to advance to the next stage without much trouble. A mouth-watering clash awaits in Group C as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will get a chance to lock horns against his former club Barcelona. With CSKA Moscow, Leverkusen and Monaco in their group, Tottenham have also got a decent group and they must fancy their chances of qualifying for the next stage. Arsenal will have to play French champions PSG, Basel and Ludogorets in their group and they too are expected to advance to the next stage.