On Thursday, the Champions League groups were drawn. Here they are in full:
- Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad.
- Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen.
- Group C: PSG, Benfica, Olympiakos, Anderlecht.
- Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, FC Viktoria Plzen.
- Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest.
- Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli.
- Group G: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna.
- Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic.
The one that sticks out most there is Group H, isn’t it? Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic. Four former winners of Europe’s biggest prize and four clubs steeped in history and tradition. Neil Lennon has some task ahead of him. But as Barcelona found out last year, anything is possible.
Elsewhere, Man United seemed to have got off lightly. That said, on European nights, places like Shakhtar’s Donbass Arena and Leverkusen’s BayArena are like fortresses and the intensity can prove to be vital – how will Moyes cope in his first European competition.
Man City will be facing Bayern Munich. Two new managers, two extremely strong squads. Who will be hungrier for victory?
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side will take on Borussia Dortmund and Marseille. Neither of which will be an easy game for the North London side. The French boss has only a few days to strengthen the squad. He really needs to or it could be an early exit for the Gunners.
Who do you think will get through the groups? Tweet Rob Smith with your predictions (@robsmithireland)