Champions League Draw: Tottenham handed group of death
Spurs in with Real Madrid and Dortmund
The Champions League group stage draw has taken place and it’s a mixed picture for English sides. Liverpool and Manchester United will be relishing their favourable match-ups, while Tottenham have been handed the group of death.
Meanwhile, Manchester City and Chelsea will be content with draws that should see them finish first or second respectively.
With just a few weeks to go until the group stage gets underway, the Coral News Team gets stuck in to what it all means for the English sides in Europe.
Spurs, Dortmund, Real Madrid, APOEL
With the exception of APOEL, the draw probably couldn’t have fallen much worse for Spurs.
Real Madrid are favourites to land a competition hat-trick while Borussia Dortmund are always a difficult test. Second place is the realistic target for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who will be missing Dele Alli for the first three matches.
No-one said it was going to be easy, but it’s going to be a seriously tough ask for the North Londoners.
Man City, Shakhtar, Napoli, Feyenoord
This may look like a kind draw on paper but it has the potential to cause Manchester City problems.
Shakhtar have a solid home record while Napoli are a notoriously difficult team to play against. Feyenoord too, will relish every game with a Leicester-like enthusiasm in their first group stage appearance since 2003.
Man United, Benfica, Basel, CSKA Moscow
Manchester United are back in the group stages after a year away.
And they couldn’t really have asked for a more stereotypical Champions League draw. The Red Devils have won six from nine against Benfica and have lost just once in four matches against Swiss side Basel.
Progression from the group as winners will be the aim for United as they aim to restore their reputation in Europe’s premier competition.
Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, AS Roma, Qarabag
This is a potentially tricky group for Chelsea, who will not relish trips to face Atletico Madrid and Roma.
The Blues haven’t won in four against Diego Simeone’s men and will be the first British visitors to the new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.
A new look Roma side will also provide a stern test, as will a 5,800m trek to face Azerbaijani champions Qarabag.
There’s no question over Chelsea’s quality, but if the unrest at Stamford Bridge isn’t sorted soon, this could end up being trickier than it needs to be for the West Londoners.
Liverpool, Sevilla, Maribor, Spartak Moscow
While Spurs finished second in the league last year and were handed a nightmare draw, Liverpool must be rubbing their hands together with glee.
The Reds qualified via a play-off win over Hoffenheim and have been gifted what looks to be a relatively straightforward group.
Sevilla will provide the sternest test but Jurgen Klopp should be targeting 12 points from 12 against Spartak and Slovenian minnows Maribor.
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