The draw for the 2019-20 Champions League group stage is complete. See how the quartets shaped up below.
Instant analysis: Anything other than Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid reaching the knockout stages will be a huge surprise. The fixtures between the respective sides will almost certainly determine who grabs the ever-important top spot – which should, in theory, offer a more palatable last-16 matchup.
|4||Red Star Belgrade||Serbia|
Instant analysis: Though Athens and Belgrade offer daunting atmospheres, a revamped Bayern Munich, along with last season’s finalists, Tottenham, should comfortably secure their places in the knockout stage.
Instant analysis: Manchester City walked away as the happiest club after Thursday’s draw, with Champions League debutants Atalanta close behind. The Serie A side put together an incredible campaign just to squeeze into the competition, and its effervescent brand of football will have many neutrals hoping they join overwhelming favorites City in the round of 16.
Instant analysis: Old foes meet again. Juventus knocked Atletico Madrid out of last season’s tournament through a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in the second leg of their last-16 clash, as the Old Lady overturned a 2-0 deficit from the opening encounter in Madrid. Bayer Leverkusen’s high-octane style will cause the two behemoths problems, but coming off very active transfer windows, they’ll both expect to ultimately see off that threat.
|3||Red Bull Salzburg||Austria|
Instant analysis: Speaking of old foes … Napoli came within inches of sending Liverpool packing in last season’s group stage, only for standout shot-stopper Alisson to save the day for the Reds. Having narrowly escaped disaster, Liverpool went on to capture the Champions League crown. Is there a repeat on the cards?
|4||Slavia Prague||Czech Republic|
Instant analysis: The proverbial Group of Death. Inter were arguably the most dangerous side in Pot 3 going into the draw, and pairing them with perennial contenders Barcelona and the always entertaining Borussia Dortmund should make for some captivating viewing. If you’re Slavia Prague, all you can do is laugh at your misfortune.
|1||Zenit St. Petersburg||Russia|
Instant analysis: There’s always one group that, at least on paper, is wide open. Welcome to Group G. Zenit St. Petersburg, the reigning Russian champions, went into the draw as a top seed, but in truth, you could see any of these four sides emerging atop the quartet.
Instant analysis: Chelsea and last season’s Champions League darlings, Ajax, are the favorites to march on, but don’t sleep on Lille. Victor Osimhen looks like a star in the making, while summer addition Renato Sanches should help Les Dogues push for a spot in the knockout stages.