Difficult draw for City

City must overcome group of champions; Celtic take on Barcelona

Manchester City have been handed another tough UEFA Champions League draw as they face the champions of Spain, Germany and Holland.

Champions League draw

Group A

Porto
Dynamo Kiev
Paris St Germain
Dinamo Zagreb

Group B

Arsenal
Schalke
Olympiakos
Montpellier

Group C

AC Milan
Zenit St Petersburg
Anderlecht
Malaga

Group D

Real Madrid
Manchester City
Ajax
Borussia Dortmund

Group E

Chelsea
Shakhtar Donetsk
Juventus
Nordsjaelland

Group F

Bayern Munich
Valencia
Lille
BATE

Group G

Barcelona
Benfica
Spartak Moscow
Celtic

Group H

Manchester United
Braga
Galatasaray
CFR Cluj

The Premier League holders will face nine-time winners Real Madrid in Group D as well as four-time champions Ajax and German giants Borussia Dortmund.

All four teams won their national leagues last year and Roberto Mancini's mood is unlikely to be improved by the draw handed to rivals Manchester United.

The Red Devils will line up against Braga, Galatasaray and CFR Cluj in Group H but Sir Alex Ferguson will no doubt be wary after his side failed to successfully negotiate a similarly manageable draw last season.

Holders Chelsea take on Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Nordsjaelland in the group stages as they aim to become the first team in the Champions League era to successfully defend the trophy.

Celtic, who are competing in the group stages of the tournament for the first time in four years, have a showpiece tie against favourites Barcelona to look forward to.

But Neil Lennon may hope to trouble the remaining two opponents in Group G, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

Arsenal are in Group B with Schalke, last year's group opponents Olympiakos and newcomers Montpellier.

The Gunners will be optimistic following that draw, especially having acquired Montpellier's star striker Olivier Giroud in the summer.

The first group matches will be played on September 18 and the final of this year's tournament will be contested on May 25 at Wembley Stadium.

Which British club has the best chance of reaching the Champions League knockout stages?

  • Arsenal
  • Celtic
  • Chelsea
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United