Today, the balls have been drawn form their glassy cases of mysticism revealing presiding on some interesting encounters down the road.
(Que. the music)....And the Groups are:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City, Napoli
Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor
Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, Basel, Otelul Galati
Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb
Group E: Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk
Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund
Group G: Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg, APOEL
Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen
English new boy's-to the tournament- Manchester City are drawn into the infamous group of death for this seasons tournament. Squaring off against the Bavarian Giants of Germany, who are in a state of some sort, but have a fantastic European pedigree to which they hold the advantage over others in the group. City may find it difficult to sink the Yellow Submarine's (Villarreal), lead by talisman Giuseppe Rossi. Napoli is a team I look forward to seeing in the Champions League, as they have retained most of their talent from their successful season in Serie A, adding the likes of Gohkan Inler to their midfield. City will struggle, but with the experienced European players they have brought in this summer and last, they should be challenging for second in the group.
Once again Manchester United gets a favorable draw, in which the gulf in class between them and the others is mammoth.
Group E is an interesting on for me with Chelsea newboy, Juan Mata facing his old side Valencia, which should prove to be an interesting tie. Throwing German runner-ups Bayer Leverkusen into the mix, the battle for second should be interesting as Chelsea should secure first. Shit Prediction: Leverkusen will pip Valencia for the second spot, and progress.
The Arsenal have a pretty tough draw as well, with German champions Dortmund, and french side Marseille gracing the group. Arsenal had a tough progression into the group stage after slipping into the required qualification spot last year, but could get into the grove later in the season. This or....the capitulate completely and fail to leave the group, as the French, and German sides are nothing to scoff at.