The much-awaited draw for this year’s Champions League has been made with those blue balls being drawn from the bowls. There are some intriguing match-ups for this year’s group stage involving Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen. Here’s the low-down on what it means for the Bundesliga’s finest…
Group F: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb
Five-times winners Bayern have been drawn against London side Arsenal, the Greeks of Olympiakos and Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb. Arsene Wenger’s Gunners should be their main rivals against whom they’ll face Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil. Of all the German sides involved, you’d have to say that Bayern have the easiest draw and fans will already be looking forward to the knock-out stages (and beyond) once more.
“We want to come through this group, we want to reach the quarter-final- absolutely no question. But we have to tackle it seriously and with modesty”. (Matthias Sammer)
“Without doubt a tough group and opponents we have to take seriously. Above all in London we’ll face a great atmosphere, but the other two teams also have their qualities. Our goal is clear- qualification for the quarter-finals.” (Thomas Müller)
Group B: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, VfL Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg were one of the two German clubs in Pot 4 that many clubs were hoping to avoid, but it was Group B into which they were drawn alongside PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Russians CSKA Moscow. Die Wölfe faced United back in the 2009/10 group stage, but lost 2-1 away and 3-1 at the Volkswagen Arena. They also met CSKA is the same season winning 3-1 at home, but losing 2-1 to finish third in the group.
“It’s an attractive group, which also offers us some sporting possibilities”. (Dieter Hecking).
“We can get our revenge on two teams that we played against in our first Champions League participation”. (Diego Benaglio).
“We can consider ourselves satisfied with the draw. The group is difficult, but it really could have been worse.” (Andre Schürrle)
Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Like Wolfsburg, the Foals found themselves in Pot 4 and have therefore been drawn in really tough group. Last season’s beaten finalists Juventus and money-bags Manchester City are the two top seeds in Group D, and with the third seeds being double Europa League winners Sevilla, things don’t get any easier for Lucien Favre’s Gladbach. Three very difficult matches await in what will be the club’s first participation the Champions League and their first in the elite European Cup competition since 1977.
“All you can say is ‘Welcome to the Champions League’. We have the Champions League finalists, the Europa Leaguw inners and one of the highest paid squads in the world as opponents. It is incredibly difficult, but they’re interesting journeys.” (Max Eberl)
Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma, BATE Borisov
The reward for beating Lazio is a draw against the reigning champions Barcelona. No good considering the last time the two met in the Champions League, Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in one game. Rudi Völler’s ex-club Roma are also in Group E, and joining them as the Pot 4 club is Belarus side BATE Borisov playing in their fifth Champions League.
“For the fans it is touristically good, but for us a very difficult task. We will do all we can to reach the quarter-finals. We have a 50:50 chance of second place in the group.” (Michael Schade)
Latest posts by Mathew Burt (see all)
- The Guido Burgstaller dichotomy - October 13, 2019
- Five new inductees to the Hall of Fame of German football - October 13, 2019
- Transfer time travel: How much would the Bayern Munich legends cost today? - October 12, 2019