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Champions League draw: Tough groups for Barcelona, Juventus

Champions League draw: Tough groups for Barcelona, Juventus

The draw for the 2019-20 Champions League group stage is complete. See how the quartets shaped up below.

Group A

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Pot Club Country
1 Paris Saint-Germain France
2 Real Madrid Spain
3 Club Brugge Belgium
4 Galatasaray Turkey

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.

Group B

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Pot Club Country
1 Bayern Munich Germany
2 Tottenham Hotspur England
3 Olympiacos Greece
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.

Group C

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Pot Club Country
1 Manchester City England
2 Shakhtar Donetsk Ukraine
3 Dinamo Zagreb Croatia
4 Atalanta Italy

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.

Group D

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Pot Club Country
1 Juventus Italy
2 Atletico Madrid Spain
3 Bayer Leverkusen Germany
4 Lokomotiv Moscow Russia

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.

Group E

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Pot Club Country
1 Liverpool England
2 Napoli Italy
3 Red Bull Salzburg Austria
4 Genk Belgium

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?

Group F

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Pot Club Country
1 Barcelona Spain
2 Borussia Dortmund Germany
3 Inter Italy
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.

Group G

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Pot Club Country
1 Zenit St. Petersburg Russia
2 Benfica Portugal
3 Lyon France
4 RB Leipzig Germany

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.

Group H

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Pot Club Country
1 Chelsea England
2 Ajax Netherlands
3 Valencia Spain
4 Lille France

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.