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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.


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