Manchester City were always going to get some tough games in the Champions League group stage due to the fact that the Premier League’s richest club might have the wealth to go a long way in the competition although their recent history in the competition amounts to nothing.
Therefore, Roberto Mancini’s team were placed in Pot 3 and were grouped with Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Napoli in what everyone will surely be terming the Group of Death. Even so, City are the bookmaker favourites to win this section and none of the other trio will enjoy taking on Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva.
City’s neighbours Manchester United appear to have a dream draw, having been grouped with Benfica, FC Basel and Otelul Galati. While Sir Alex Ferguson is sure to show plenty of respect to these teams, he will have been delighted to have avoided AC Milan and Napoli.
Chelsea will also be satisfied with the other three teams in Group E which include Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk. As is often the way, Juan Mata will make a quick return to the Mestalla after recently completing a move to Stamford Bridge from the Spanish club.
Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City, Napoli.
Group B: Inter, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor.
Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, FC 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: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Apoel.
Group H: Barcelona, Milan, FC BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen.