Champions League draw: Liverpool drawn with Napoli

0
127
The UEFA Champions league trophy

Jürgen Klopp had claimed another season of English dominance in Europe was unlikely but in private the draw for the Champions League group stage may prompt a rethink.

Liverpool’s defense of their sixth European crown begins when they face Napoli for the second season in a row, while beaten finalists Tottenham Hotspur are paired with Bayern Munich in the European Champions League group stages.

The two other teams drawn in Liverpool’s Group E were Salzburg and Genk, the champions of Austria and Belgium, respectively.

Although they are tricky opponents, Jurgen Klopp’s men have become a very tough team to beat.

Greek side Olympiacos — who came through qualifying to reach the last 32, along with Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade — completes Spurs’ Group B.

Europa League champions Chelsea will face the darlings of last season’s competition Ajax, Valencia and Lille in Group H.

Premier League champions Manchester City were arguably given the easiest of draws  — by getting Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk, a team they beat 9-0 over two ties last season, Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia and Atalanta, third in Serie A last season.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid will face French giants Paris St Germain, Club Brugge and Galatasaray in Group A, while Barcelona were drawn in Group F alongside Borussia Dortmund, Antonio Conte’s new-look Inter Milan and Slavia Prague.

Italian champions Juventus take on Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow in Group D, and Group G comprises Zenit St Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon and RB Leipzig.

Groups in full

Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiakos, Red Star Belgrade

Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, RB Salzburg, Genk

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit St Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

The first round of matches take place on September 17 and 18.

 

Chidi Nwoke.