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Champions League Group Stage Draw: All The Details

champions league logo Champions League Group Stage Draw: All The Details

The draw for the group stage of the 2011-12 Champions League tournament has begun. The highlights include Manchester City playing their first Champions League matches against Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal, while Manchester United will face Benfica, Otelul and Basle. Arsenal will face Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Olympiacos, while Chelsea will play Valencia, Genk and Bayer Leverkusen.

Here is the breakdown of which teams will be in which groups:

GROUP A:

  1. Bayern Munich (Germany)
  2. Villarreal (Spain)
  3. Manchester City (England)
  4. Napoli (Italy)

GROUP B:

  1. Inter Milan (Italy)
  2. CSKA Moscow (Russia)
  3. Lille (France)
  4. Trabzonspor (Turkey)

GROUP C:

  1. Manchester United (England)
  2. Benfica (Portugal)
  3. Basle (Switzerland)
  4. Otelul (Romania)

GROUP D:

  1. Real Madrid (Spain)
  2. Lyon (France)
  3. Ajax (Netherlands)
  4. Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

GROUP E:

  1. Chelsea (England)
  2. Valencia (Spain)
  3. Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
  4. Genk (Belgium)

GROUP F:

  1. Arsenal (England)
  2. Marseille (France)
  3. Olympiacos (Greece)
  4. Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

GROUP G:

  1. Porto (Portugal)
  2. Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
  3. Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia)
  4. APOEL (Cyprus)

GROUP H:

  1. Barcelona (Spain)
  2. AC Milan (Italy)
  3. Bate (Belarus)
  4. Plzen (Czech Republic)

The group stage of the 2011-12 Champions League games will be played over the following dates:

  • September 13-14, 2011
  • September 27-28, 2011
  • October 18-19, 2011
  • November 1-2, 2011
  • November 22-23, 2011
  • December 6-7, 2011

Manchester United get another easy group where they’ll face Otelul from Romania, who are playing in the Champions League for the first time, as well as Basle, who United should overcome comfortably. Benfica, as we saw yesterday against FC Twente, will be a tricky side to beat, especially in Portugal.

For qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, Manchester City looks like they have a group similar to what Tottenham had last year — intimidating, to say the least. Manchester City face tough European sides such as Napoli, Bayern Munich and Villarreal, who are especially a very difficult side to beat.

Arsenal should be pleased with their group draw that includes Greek champions Olympiacos as well as Marseille and former Champions League winners Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea, meanwhile, face a difficult match against Valencia, but if they can overcome the Spanish side, they’ll be in a good place to advance past Genk and Bayer Leverkusen.

What’s your opinion regarding the Champions League draw? Which games are you most looking forward to? Which is the group of death? And which Premier League clubs have the easiest and hardest groups? Share your feedback in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Champions League Group Stage Draw: All The Details

  1. RBP says:

    This is painful to watch.

  2. Brandon says:

    Group A is already the Group of Death, no question.

  3. Mike C says:

    A IS clearly the group of death now, with Napoli added – City will have earned it if they make it through.

  4. Trmahoney01 says:

    Looks like as far as the big teams are concerned, Chelsea have the easiest group (maybe United?).

  5. QPR_Fan says:

    Group G is soft…

  6. Chris says:

    But group g has tons of travel involved. I would rather play a little bit tougher teams than have to do that much travel and risk ruining domestic competitions.

  7. JP says:

    Group G is what I used to dub the Arsenal group now Porto get their chance to make it to the round of 16 with ease.

  8. Neil O says:

    MAN C, WELCOME TO THE CHAMPIONS! LOL

    • Mike C says:

      City definitely has an interesting draw – all the clubs are GOOD clubs.

      But . . . they also avoided Inter, AC Milan, Barca, Real Madrid – in other words, only Bayern Munich has been considered a potential finalist, and people are only talking about that because of Munich hosting the final.

      So it’s a challenging group, don’t get me wrong – but I’m not sure we see any of these teams as significantly BETTER than City.

      • Neil O says:

        True. I do believe Bayern will be first though. Cavani and Lavezzi’s Napoli will battle ManCity for second, but lets not forget Villareal have Nilmar and Rossi. Arsenal and Chelsea’s groups are no walk in the park either.

  9. MUFC77 says:

    Utd and Chelsea will go through easy enough. Arsenal should have enough to top their group especially if the bring in some new players. City will go through with Bayern as long as Mancini doesn’t play all defensive.

    Win your home games then pick up a couple of points on the road and move on to the last 16, easy enough for all 4 English sides.

    • Andrei says:

      Arsenal will struggle mightily if they don’t improve. Dortmund and Marseilles are better sides than Udinese who gave Arsenal quite a run. Arsenal were much better last year and in the easier group and still failed to finish on the top.

      • MUFC77 says:

        Obviously they need to improve on recent results but im not buying into Arseanl being in as much trouble as everyone says. They still have a ton of experience to draw on from within the squad.

        • Andrei says:

          They are not in trouble just playing as you would expect based on the strength of their current squad. I just don’t see how Wenger can significantly improve it in the short time that he has left. I doubt there will be any significant signings. This weekend they are facing almost certain defeat at OT which would make team morale even lower. Then comes international break and with Arsenal recent luck they may have to deal with new injuries to the key players. Plus Arsenal will play first CL group game without Wenger on the bench.

  10. Jon says:

    I think Dortmund wins Group F, without question. Arsenal should (assuming Wenger does something, anything before 8/31) tip Marseille for 2nd, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it went the other way.

    Group A should be fantastic to watch. The Napoli/Villarreal games should be firecrackers with the style those two play. With Silva, Aguero, etc., MCFC can play some excited football too, if Mancini so chooses.

    United should get through with ease.

    Somebody convince me that Roman didn’t buy off UEFA to put Valencia and Genk in Chelsea’s group after they bought each team’s best player this summer.

    • Andrei says:

      “Somebody convince me that Roman didn’t buy off UEFA to put Valencia and Genk in Chelsea’s group after they bought each team’s best player this summer.”

      That means that he also bought off Luis Figo, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ruud Gullit and Lothar Mathaus.

  11. OT says:

    The fixture list is out.

    Barcelona vs AC Milan will be on Match Day 1: Tuesday September 13

  12. bring it on says:

    Man City …………Napoli (h) Wed 14 September
    Bayern Munich (a) Tue 27 September
    Villarreal (h) Tue 18 October
    Villarreal (a) Wed 2 November
    Napoli (a) Tue 22 November
    Bayern Munich (h) Wed 7 December

  13. Spend Some Money says:

    If you watched the actual draw… when Man City’s ball came up they were automatically slotted to Group A. Why was group H (Barce, Milan) not an option. It seems to me there should have been two balls for the German guy to pick- one for Group A and one for Group H. Anyone catch this? Thoughts? Conspiracy? Oooooo!

    • MUFC77 says:

      Yeah I watched the draw at work and remember them saying City automatically go into group A and for the life of me I cant think why.

      Its not like group A already had a English club and was then protected under the same country rule, probably just some obscure rule that very rarely comes into play. Maybe the Gaffer can come up with a reason why
      this happened.

    • OT says:

      Because Chelsea and Arsenal were already drawn into Groups E and F, Man City could NOT be drawn into Groups G or H because no more than 2 teams from one country can play on the same calendar day.

      (Groups A-D play on the same day. Ditto Groups E-H.)

      Man City could only be drawn into Groups A, B, or D (because Man Utd was already in Group C.)

      Because Groups B and D were already filled, Man City was forced into Group A without the need for a draw.

  14. GOMANU says:

    AC MILAN VS. BARCELONA DEFINATLY!!! IT AN AWSOME MATCH MAN UTD HOPEFULLY ADVANCES WITHOUT DIFFICULTIES

  15. Mark W. says:

    Without question, the Champions League Group Stage selection show on Fox Soccer channel was the dullest sports television show I’ve ever seen. Little pieces of paper in tiny plastic soccer balls…really? In this age of tecnology, that’s the most entertaining thing thry could think of? And I know I’m not alone here, the people in the audience seemed utterly bored to death.

  16. Daniel says:

    There are a lot of teams that will make their debut in European Competitions.

    I analyzed the groups and made an outline of it: http://bit.ly/mVqFnE

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