Champions League group stage draw 2014/15: City handed tough draw

Premier League champions Manchester City (2/1 with Coral top their pool) will face German counterparts Bayern Munich and Russian outfit CSKA Moscow again, as well as Serie A runners-up Roma, in the group stage of the 2014/15 Champions League. These European heavyweights have been drawn in Group E.

Arsenal, even-money favourites to top their pool, will also renew their acquaintance with Borussia Dortmund in Group D, while Chelsea are paired with Schalke in Group G. Each of these three Premier League sides face respective opposition from last year’s group stage.

Holders Real Madrid, who are now 10/3 (from 7/2) favourites to retain the Champions League prior to the draw, will play Liverpool (3/1 shots to top their pool), Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgrad and Basel in Group B.

Jose Mourinho’s Blues, whon are heavily odds-on at 1/5 to their pool, also face Sporting Lisbon, who have loaned Manchester United winger Nani back to the club, and Celtic’s conquerors Maribor of Slovenia. The Gunners, meanwhile, also tangle with Galatasaray, now under the pragmatic management of Cesare Prandelli, and Belgian champions Anderlecht.

Recent winners Barcelona (9/2) and Bayern (5/1) are also among the favourites to wrest the European Cup from Real’s grasp. Odds on an English winner vary wildly between 7/1 and 28/1.

As usual, it’s a battle between Cristiano Ronaldo (5/2 favourite) and Lionel Messi (7/2) as market leaders for the Champions League top scorer betting. Bayern Munich summer free transfer Robert Lewandowski comes next at 10/1, with Barcelona new boy Luis Suarez at 12/1.

Champions League group stage draw 204/15 in full
Odds quoted below are for an outright win.

Group A
Atletico Madrid

Group B
Real Madrid
Liverpool 28/1
Ludogorets Razgrad

Group C
Zenit St Petersburg
Bayer Leverkusen

Group D
Arsenal 20/1
Borussia Dortmund

Group E
Bayern Munich
Manchester City 14/1
CSKA Moscow

Group F
APOEL Nicosia

Group G
Chelsea 7/1
Sporting Lisbon

Group H
Shakhtar Donetsk
Athletic Bilbao
BATE Borisov