Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester Metropolis, two of the main candidates to win the Champions League, will face one another within the group stage of this season’s competitors after popping out collectively in Thursday’s draw.
Pep Guardiola’s Metropolis beat PSG within the semi-finals of final season’s Champions League on the way in which to shedding the ultimate to Chelsea in Porto.
Qatar-owned Paris responded to that disappointment by signing Lionel Messi and there’s a likelihood that the 2 conferences of the golf equipment may see the Argentine come up in opposition to his nice rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese ahead is being strongly linked with a transfer to Abu Dhabi-owned Metropolis from Juventus earlier than the European switch window closes on Tuesday, August 31.
“It’s particular, Manchester Metropolis are among the finest groups in Europe and have been combating to win the Champions League for 10 years,” stated PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino.
“The problem is to attempt to end first within the group.”
The golf equipment are in Group A together with RB Leipzig and Belgian champions Membership Brugge.
Leipzig had been already in a bunch with PSG final season, the 2 sides qualifying for the final 16 forward of Manchester United.
The Germans, who additionally misplaced to PSG within the 2020 semi-finals, misplaced coach Julian Nagelsmann to Bayern Munich in the summertime and changed him with the American Jesse Marsch.
Chelsea in opposition to Juventus
Holders Chelsea will play Juventus in Group H and each golf equipment can be anticipated to advance from a bit additionally together with Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg and Malmo.
The Swedish champions knocked out Steven Gerrard’s Rangers within the third qualifying spherical.
Saint Petersburg will host this season’s Champions League closing on Might 28 subsequent yr.
Thursday’s attract Istanbul additionally noticed Barcelona come out in an enchanting Group E together with Bayern, Benfica and Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kiev.
For Barca it is going to be a primary assembly with Bayern since they had been humbled 8-2 by the German giants in Benfica’s Estadio da Luz in Lisbon within the quarter-finals a yr in the past.
Ronald Koeman’s facet are embarking on a primary Champions League marketing campaign because the departure of Messi, with whom they final lifted the trophy in 2015.
“Barcelona is a distinct staff with out Messi, however they nonetheless have good gamers of their ranks. We wish to get via the group, ideally as winners,” stated Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
Klopp: ‘I laughed’
Liverpool will face Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, which means a return to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium the place they beat Tottenham Hostpur within the 2019 closing to win the European Cup for the sixth time.
Jurgen Klopp’s facet may also play AC Milan and FC Porto in Group B. Milan, the seven-time winners of the trophy, are again within the Champions League for the primary time since 2013/14 after coming second in Serie A final season.
“I laughed, to be sincere, fairly loud as a result of it’s a robust group clearly,” Klopp instructed Liverpoolfc.com.
Manchester United got here out in Group F with Villarreal, Atalanta and Swiss champions Younger Boys.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s facet misplaced to Villarreal on penalties in final season’s Europa League closing.
Actual Madrid, the report 13-time European champions, are in the identical group as Italian champions Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine for the second straight season.
Debutants Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova full Group D. They’ve come via 4 qualifying ties to achieve the group stage, notably knocking out Pink Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb.
Erling Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund will play fellow former winners Ajax in addition to Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas in Group C, whereas Lille, Sevilla, Pink Bull Salzburg and Wolfsburg make up Group G.
The primary spherical of fixtures can be performed on September 14 and 15.
It stays to be seen if UEFA will carry its blanket ban on away followers attending matches in European competitors.
Strain group Soccer Supporters Europe this week known as for UEFA to rethink, saying “tips on away followers must be selected a case-by-case foundation according to the native public well being state of affairs”.
UEFA will launch a fixture schedule for the group stage sooner or later. The ultimate group fixtures can be performed on December 7 and eight.