Champions League draw

27 August 2009 04:43
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Rangers now know who they will face in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Thursday's draw in Monaco has thrown up a host of intriguing fixtures in Europe's elite club competition.

Liverpool head up Group E and will tackle French giants Lyon, Serie A side Fiorentina and Hungarian outfit Debreceni as Rafa Benitez's men aim to repeat their 2005 success.

Manchester United - winners in 2008 and finalists in 2009 - are the top seeds in Group B, with Sir Alex Ferguson's side facing lengthy trips to CSKA Moscow and Besiktas, while they must also tackle German champions Wolfsburg.

Chelsea have to overcome Porto, Atletico Madrid and APOEL Nicosia if they are to secure safe passage from Group D into the knockout phase as they aim to claim the trophy which has become something of a Holy Grail for the Stamford Bridge club.

Arsenal tackle Champions League newcomers AZ Alkmaar, Greek powerhouse Olympiakos and Belgian side Standard Liege in Group H after overcoming Celtic in their qualifying round.

BarcaRangers' bid to reach the latter stages in Europe sees them placed in Group G alongside top seeds Sevilla, Stuttgart and Unirea Urziceni of Romania.

Brazilian playmaker Kaka has been handed an immediate return to AC Milan with Real Madrid paired alongside his former club, plus Marseille and FC Zurich in Group C.

Defending champions Barcelona tackle Inter Milan in Group F - in two clashes which will see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o facing their former clubs - with Dynamo Kiev and Rubin Kazan completing the quartet.

Bayern Munich, who lifted the trophy in 2001, are up against Juventus, French champions Bordeaux and Maccabi Haifa in Group A.

The clubs will now meet home and away across six matchdays from September to December with the top two qualifying for the knockout phase, with the ultimate prize on offer in the final at Real's Santiago Bernabeu on 22nd May.

Barca (9/2) and Real (5/1) remain as the front runners in Sky Bet's outright market to win the Champions League.

The prices of all five of the British clubs are unchanged with Chelsea a 6/1 shot and Manchester United 7/1 after favourable draws.

Source: SKY_Sports