Chelsea’s defence of Europe’s top trophy will include games against Juventus, while Manchester City will be facing Lionel Messi’s PSG after the Champions League draw for the group stage was made.
Chelsea beat Manchester City in an all-English final last season to cap off a fine second half of the season under Thomas Tuchel. It is time for all the clubs involved to reset though as the new campaign continues. UEFA held the draw for the group stage on Thursday so the sides could learn their fate.
The reigning champions have been placed in Group H along with Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo.
Beaten finalists City, who have dominated the domestic scene in recent years but are still waiting for a European triumph under Pep Guardiola, were also a pot one side. They were the first name out of the hat and will be facing Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge in Group A.
With Cristiano Ronaldo currently linked with a transfer to City and Lionel Messi having joined PSG, there is a chance that two of the sport’s icons could be going head to head.
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The Premier League’s other representatives, Liverpool and Manchester United, were both in pot two for the draw.
Liverpool, who last won the competition in 2019, have discovered that their opponents in Group B will be Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan.
Atleti knocked them out of the 2019-20 edition of the tournament, so it will be an opportunity for revenge. The other opponents, including a Milan side making a long-awaited return to the competition, are also tricky in what seems like a group of death.
As for Man Utd, who reached last season’s Europa League final, games against Villarreal, Atalanta and Young Boys in Group F await.
They will also have their own chance for revenge, then, by reuniting with the team that beat them to the Europa League trophy, Villarreal. The clash with Atalanta, meanwhile, could be an emotional occasion for Amad Diallo.
The group stage will commence on September 14th. The final of this season’s competition will take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 28th, 2022.
Champions League draw in full
Zenit St Petersburg