Champions League draw REVEALED: English sides escape Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan… but Tottenham face tricky double-header against Bayern Munich
- English sides managed to escape the toughest draw in the Champions League
- Tottenham were handed a tricky match as they were paired with Bayern Munich
- Man City will face Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk for a third straight season
- Chelsea’s return to the Champions League sees them against Ajax and Valencia
- Liverpool will begin their title defense against Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk
English clubs all managed to avoid a Group of Death as Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all received favourable draws for the Champions League group stages.
There was a case of history repeating itself as Manchester City got drawn with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk for the third season in a row. Pep Guardiola’s side will also face Dinamo Zagreb and Champions League debutants Atalanta.
Liverpool will renew a familiar rivalry as were paired with Serie A runners-up Napoli for a second successive season. Red Bull Salzburg and Genk complete Group E for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were handed the best draw from the English sides as they complete Group H with Ajax, Valencia and LOSC Lille.
The Blues return to the competition after winning the Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku, Azerbaijan last season.
Ajax have seen a number of significant departures, including captain Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong, and are considered a weaker opponent than the side that stunned en route to last season’s semi-finals.
Lille are strong but were one of the favourable teams to be drawn against after the Ligue 1 side lost star man Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for £72million this summer.
Man City Fixtures
Red Star Belgrade
Liverpool are looking to make it back-to-back titles and will be confident of navigating Group C, despite going up against familiar nemesis Napoli, managed by Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italians edged out a 1-0 win in Naples during the group stage last season thanks to a stoppage time goal from Lorenzo Insigne. Klopp’s side won the reverse game at Anfield 1-0 in what was a must-win game to get out of the group.
RB Salzburg and Genk will be viewed as winnable games for the Reds as they balance the Champions League with their bid for the Premier League title.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham have the toughest draw of all the English sides having been paired with German champions Bayern Munich.
Tottenham got the better of them in pre-season during the Audi Cup and while Niko Kovac’s side are not as formidable as they once were, it represents a tougher match-up than what awaits rivals.
With two sides progressing from each group, Tottenham and Bayern will be confident of going through. Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade complete Group E.